Promissory Note | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "promissory note"

Ohio Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Duane Schwartzwald et al.

Ohio Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Duane Schwartzwald et al.


How can you commence an action if you don’t have the proof you’re entitled to to enforce the action in the first place?

Must Lender Have Current Ownership Interest in Promissory Note or Mortgage at the Time Foreclosure Action Is Filed?

Or May Lack of Standing Be ‘Cured’ Through Mortgage Assignment Before Judgment?

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Duane Schwartzwald et al., Case nos. 2011-1201 and 2011-1362
Second District Court of Appeals (Greene County)

ISSUE: If a party files a lawsuit to foreclose on a mortgage and it is later shown that party did not have a current ownership interest in the mortgage or the underlying promissory note on the date the foreclosure action was filed, is the court required to dismiss the suit based on the plaintiff’s lack of standing to bring it? Or may the plaintiff “cure” a defect in standing or in naming the actual party in interest under Civil Rule 17(A) by obtaining an assignment of the mortgage prior to the court’s entry of a judgment in the case?

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RePOST: Open Letter to all attorneys who aren’t PSA literate by April Charney

RePOST: Open Letter to all attorneys who aren’t PSA literate by April Charney


Via: Max Gardner

Are You PSA Literate?

.

We are pleased to present this guest post by April Charney.

If you are an attorney trying to help people save their homes, you had better be PSA literate or you won’t even begin to scratch the surface of all you can do to save their homes. This is an open letter to all attorneys who aren’t PSA literate but show up in court to protect their client’s homes.

First off, what is a PSA? After the original loans are pooled and sold, a trust hires a servicer to service the loans and make distributions to investors. The agreement between depositor and the trust and the truste and the servicer is called the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA).

According to UCC § 3-301 a “person entitled to enforce” the promissory note, if negotiable, is limited to:

(1) The holder of the instrument;

(2) A nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder; or

(3) A person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to section 3-309 or section 3-418(d).

A person may be a person entitled to enforce the instrument even though the person is not the owner of the instrument or is in wrongful possession of the instrument.

Although “holder” is not defined in UCC § 3-301, it is defined in § 1-201 for our purposes to mean a person in possession of a negotiable note payable to bearer or to the person in possession of the note.

So we now know who can enforce the obligation to pay a debt evidenced by a negotiable note. We can debate whether a note is negotiable or not, but I won’t make that debate here.

Under § 1-302 persons can agree “otherwise” that where an instrument is transferred for value and the transferee does not become a holder because of lack of indorsement by the transferor, that the transferee is granted a special right to enforce an “unqualified” indorsement by the transferor, but the code does not “create” negotiation until the indorsement is actually made.

So, that section allows a transferee to enforce a note without a qualifying endorsement only when the note is transferred for value.? Then, under § 1-302 (a) the effect of provisions of the UCC may be varied by agreement. This provision includes the right and ability of persons to vary everything described above by agreement.

This is where you MUST get into the PSA. You cannot avoid it. You can get the judges to this point. I did it in an email. Show your judge this post.

If you can’t find the PSA for your case, use the PSA next door that you can find on at www.secinfo.com. The provisions of the PSA that concern transfer of loans (and servicing, good faith and almost everything else) are fairly boilerplate and so PSAs are fairly interchangeable for many purposes. You have to get the PSA and the mortgage loan purchase agreement and the hearsay bogus electronic list of loans before the court. You have to educate your judge about the lack of credibility or effect of the lifeless list of loans as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act specifically exempts Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities from its application. Also, you have to get your judge to understand that the plaintiff has given up the power to accept the transfer of a note in default and under the conditions presented to the court (out of time, no delivery receipts, etc). Without the PSA you cannot do this.

Additionally the PSA becomes rich when you look at § 1-302 (b) which says that the obligations of good faith, diligence, reasonableness and care prescribed by the code may not be disclaimed by agreement, but may be enhanced or modified by an agreement which determine the standards by which the performance of the obligations of good faith, diligence reasonableness and care are to be measured. These agreed to standards of good faith, etc. are enforceable under the UCC if the standards are “not manifestly unreasonable.”

The PSA also has impact on when or what acts have to occur under the UCC because § 1-302 (c) allows parties to vary the “effect of other provisions” of the UCC by agreement.

Through the PSA, it is clear that the plaintiff cannot take an interest of any kind in the loan by way of an A to D” assignment of a mortgage and certainly cannot take an interest in the note in this fashion.

Without the PSA and the limitations set up in it “by agreement of the parties”, there is no avoiding the mortgage following the note and where the UCC gives over the power to enforce the note, so goes the power to foreclose on the mortgage.

So, arguing that the Trustee could only sue on the note and not foreclose is not correct analysis without the PSA.? Likewise, you will not defeat the equitable interest “effective as of” assignment arguments without the PSA and the layering of the laws that control these securities (true sales required) and REMIC (no defaulted or nonconforming loans and must be timely bankruptcy remote transfers) and NY trust law and UCC law (as to no ultra vires acts allowed by trustee and no unaffixed allonges, etc.).

The PSA is part of the admissible evidence that the court MUST have under the exacting provisions of the summary judgment rule if the court is to accept any plaintiff affidavit or assignment.

If you have been successful in your cases thus far without the PSA, then you have far to go with your litigation model. It is not just you that has “the more considerable task of proving that New York law applies to this trust and that the PSA does not allow the plaintiff to be a “nonholder in possession with the rights of a holder.”

And I am not impressed by the argument “This is clearly something that most foreclosure defense lawyers are not prepared to do.”?Get over that quick or get out of this work! Ask yourself, are you PSA adverse? If your answer is yes, please get out of this line of work. Please.

I am not worried about the minds of the Circuit Court Judges unless and until we provide them with the education they deserve and which is necessary to result in good decisions in these cases.

It is correct that the PSA does not allow the Trustee to foreclose on the Note. But you only get there after looking at the PSA in the context of who has the power to foreclose under applicable law.

It is not correct that the Trustee has the power or right to sue on the note and PSA literacy makes this abundantly clear.

Are you PSA literate? If not, don’t expect your judge to be. But if you want to become literate, a good place to start is by attending Max Gardner’s Mortgage Servicing and Securitization Seminar.

April Carrie Charney

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The Big Lie: MERS Mortgages in Massachusetts by Jamie Ranney, Esq.

The Big Lie: MERS Mortgages in Massachusetts by Jamie Ranney, Esq.


This is a repost from a previous post dated 11/30/2010

by Jamie Ranney, Esq.
Jamie Ranney, PC
4 Thirty Acres Lane
Nantucket, MA 02554
jamie@nantucketlaw.pro
508-228-9224

This memo will focus on MERS-designated mortgages in Massachusetts.

In this author’s opinion two (2) things are evident after a survey of Massachusetts law.

First, MERS cannot be a valid “mortgagee” under Massachusetts law and thus MERS designated mortgages are invalid in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This is because MERS-designated mortgages by definition “split” the security instrument (the mortgage) from the debt (the promissory note) when they are signed. This “split” invalidates the mortgage under Massachusetts law. Where the security interest is invalid upon the signing of the mortgage, MERS cannot occupy the legal position of a “mortgagee” under Massachusetts law no matter what language MERS inserts into their mortgages that purports to give them the legal position of “mortgagee”. Since MERS-designated mortgages are invalid at their inception, it follows logically therefore that MERS mortgages are not legally capable of being recorded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by its Registers of Deeds.

Second, even if a MERS-designated mortgage were found to be a valid security instrument in Massachusetts, each and every assignment of the mortgage and note “behind” a MERS-designated mortgage must be recorded on the public land records of the Commonwealth in order to comply with the Massachusetts recording statute at M.G.L. c. 183, s. 4 which requires that “conveyances of an estate” be recorded to be valid. A mortgage is a “conveyance of an estate” under Massachusetts law. Since MERS-designated mortgages exist for the primary purpose of holding “legal” title on the public land records while the “beneficial” interest is transferred and sold multiple times (and a mortgage cannot exist without a note under Massachusetts law), MERS-mortgages unlawfully avoid recording fees due the Commonwealth for the transfer(s) of interests under MERS-designated mortgages.

“If you tell a lie that’s big enough, and you tell it often enough, people will believe you are telling the truth, even when what you are saying is total crap.”1

Continue reading below…

[ipaper docId=44370743 access_key=key-1en9gd3bwhh0zs2atypk height=600 width=600 /]

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The Magic of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System: It Is and It Isn’t

The Magic of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System: It Is and It Isn’t


“Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.”1

Excerpt:

While MERS may be named as the actual mortgagee
or its equivalent on the security instrument, in
substance its role is that of a nominee or agent.23
The language in the mortgage generally states:
“‘MERS’ is Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. MERS is a separate corporation that
is acting solely as nominee for Lender and
Lender’s successors and assigns. MERS is the
mortgagee under this Security Instrument.”24 Here
then begins the magic that is MERS—the dual claim
that it is both a principal (mortgagee) and
nominee/agent of the lender/factual mortgagee.25
MERS undertakes these roles but never lends
money and never gives value for the mortgage, nor
does it benefit from the proceeds of foreclosure
and/or collection actions.26 Were MERS’s
involvement in the mortgage market insignificant,
it might not pose much of a legal problem;however,
MERS appears to be involved in sixty
million loans—roughly half of all U.S. home
mortgages.27 The legal role MERS attempts to fill
and MERS’s argument as to standing is: 1) provide
a mortgage clearinghouse and eliminate recording
obligations by having MERS itself act as mortgagee
of record;28 2) allow the promissory note
evidencing the debt to be transferred freely among
MERS members ad infinitum; and 3) when default
occurs, act as the nominee of the current note
holder and mortgagee of record (rejoining the two
interests) even though the current “lender” did
not appoint MERS as mortgagee and may never have
had the right to do so. Ultimately, the argument
is something akin to a merger argument where MERS
claims that the severed interests, that of
security interest and note, are recombined in MERS
at a later date even though it received those
interests from separate entities. As others have
pointed out, MERS is attempting to derive powers
as an agent greater than the sum of the powers of
its principals.29

[ipaper docId=86987723 access_key=key-2k44k0z1xng0exhlu51n height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Notice of Oral Argument on 4/4/12: Freddie Mac v. SCHWARTZWALD – Ohio Supreme Court

Notice of Oral Argument on 4/4/12: Freddie Mac v. SCHWARTZWALD – Ohio Supreme Court


H/T B. Behrens

The Supreme Court of Ohio

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp

v.

Duane Schwartzwald et al.

The Supreme Court of Ohio will hold an oral argument on the merits in this case on Wednesday, April 04, 2012. Time allowed for oral argument will be 15 minutes per
side.

[ipaper docId=82147561 access_key=key-oaw4nbp66kdwp9azyrt height=600 width=600 /]

 

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The standing issue is back before the Ohio Supreme Court. Fed. National Mtge. Corp. v. Schwartzwald

The standing issue is back before the Ohio Supreme Court. Fed. National Mtge. Corp. v. Schwartzwald


H/T Andrew E.

A motion to reconsider asking the Court to reconsider its dismissal of Duvall as moot has been filed.

[ipaper docId=67744586 access_key=key-1zjijm1192wxxwfx47k5 height=600 width=600 /]

 

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Ohio Supreme Court’s Shocking Decision in Landmark Case U.S. BANK v. DUVALL

Ohio Supreme Court’s Shocking Decision in Landmark Case U.S. BANK v. DUVALL


Via: Ohio Fraudclosure

A Simple question was before the OHIO SUPREME COURT JUSTICES:

To have STANDING, as a plaintiff, in a mortgage foreclosure action, must a party show that it owned the NOTE and the MORTGAGE when the complaint was filed?

[ipaper docId=65917165 access_key=key-25j0inxaj5zilae5vzl1 height=600 width=600 /]

 

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The Ohio Supreme Court is taking up the question of what a bank needs to prove to force someone from his home

The Ohio Supreme Court is taking up the question of what a bank needs to prove to force someone from his home


To preview the case check out OHIO APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS “NO STANDING TO FORECLOSE” U.S. BANK v. DUVALL

Be sure to listen to audio for the latest SURPRISING TWIST!

WKSU

The Ohio Supreme Court is getting ready to take on what some are calling the biggest issue in state foreclosure law in a century. The question before the justices is what paperwork does a lender need to force an owner out of his home? For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Mhari Saito reports that what the state’s justices decide could have huge implications for the financial services industry.

[WKSU]

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Mortgage Servicers Gratutitously Screw Up Foreclosures By Using Obsolete Scans

Mortgage Servicers Gratutitously Screw Up Foreclosures By Using Obsolete Scans


All-in-One [Copier, Scanner, Printer, Fabricator]


Abigail C. Field-

By now I imagine that everyone recognizes a pandemic of legally flawed foreclosures has infected America’s land records. But not everyone realizes how deep the greed and “corner cutting” goes. For example, a significant percentage of the flawed proceedings tainting our hundreds-year-healthy system of tracking land ownership may reflect nothing more than mortgage servicers’ unwillingness to get the original promissory note, mortgage and assignments from the vault. That is, using the real, accurate documents (and complying with the rules and law) is too expensive.

(Sorry officer, I recognize I was going 80 in a 35 mile an hour zone. It was costing me too much money to drive the speed limit. Time is money.)

[REALITY CHECK]


We are extremely fortunate to have Abigail continue to focus on these issues!

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IN RE DeSHETLER | OH BK Court GRANTS THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE’S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER AUTHORIZING THE EXAMINATION OF AND REQUIRING THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE

IN RE DeSHETLER | OH BK Court GRANTS THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE’S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER AUTHORIZING THE EXAMINATION OF AND REQUIRING THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE


In re: THOMAS L. DeSHETLER, CHERYL A. DeSHETLER, Chapter 13, Debtors.

Case No. 10-36557.

United States Bankruptcy Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton.

July 12, 2011.

Scott A. King, Jennifer L. Maffett, 2000 Courthouse Plaza, N.E., Dayton, Ohio, Counsel for Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Pamela Arndt, Office of the United States Trustee, Columbus, Ohio, Counsel for the United States Trustee.

DECISION GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE’S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER AUTHORIZING THE EXAMINATION OF AND REQUIRING THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE

GUY R. HUMPHREY, Bankruptcy Judge.

I. Introduction

This contested matter is before the court on the motion filed by the United States trustee[1] seeking an order authorizing him to conduct an examination of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, one of the nation’s largest residential mortgage lenders, pursuant to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 2004 and 9016. Wells Fargo objects to this request.

As a backdrop to understanding this contested matter, the UST’s motion seeking to conduct a 2004 examination comes in the wake of the mortgage crisis that has gripped this nation for the last several years, highlighted by an unprecedented number of foreclosures and litigation in the bankruptcy courts concerning issues of standing and documentation.[2] The volume of foreclosure proceedings has caused strain on mortgage servicers’ ability to process the large volume of delinquent loans encountered in the last several years. Compounding the challenges arising out of the sheer volume of the foreclosure filings is that most of these loans are syndicated, having been originated at a local level, bundled with other mortgage loans, and then sold to private investors, resulting in at least one and usually multiple transfers of the loan.[3] Thus, the state and federal courts, particularly the bankruptcy courts, have been engulfed by the “perfect storm” arising out of the mass syndication of mortgage loans and the ensuing financial crisis.

The UST’s motion raises several issues. The threshold issue is whether the UST has the authority to conduct an examination and to compel the production of documents pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2004. If the UST possesses such authority, two additional issues must be addressed: 1) whether the UST has demonstrated “good cause” under Rule 2004 for this request; and 2) whether the scope of the requested examination is appropriate.

For the reasons to be discussed, the court finds that the UST has the authority to conduct an examination under Rule 2004, including the ability to compel the production of documents. The court further finds that the UST has established good cause. However, the court limits the scope of the examination to the documents related to Wells Fargo’s claim that it is the holder, or other person entitled to enforce, the promissory note that is the subject of this inquiry. Any oral examination, as limited by this decision, shall only proceed in the event that the UST determines that Wells Fargo has not produced sufficient documentation to establish that it is entitled to enforce the note and when that occurred.

II. Factual and Procedural Background

Thomas L. DeShetler and Cheryl A. DeShetler (the “Debtors”) filed a joint chapter 13 petition on October 11, 2010 (doc. 1). Wells Fargo Home Mortgage filed a proof of claim (claim 9-1) on November 19, 2010 on behalf of Well Fargo Bank, N.A.[4] Attached to Wells Fargo’s proof of claim are copies of a mortgage granted to Washington Mutual Bank, FA (the “Mortgage”) and a promissory note payable to Washington Mutual Bank, FA endorsed in blank (the “Note”). On December 8, 2010 the court entered an order confirming the Debtors’ plan (doc. 21).

The UST filed a motion seeking to conduct a 2004 examination on December 8, 2010 (doc. 19) (the “2004 Motion”); on January 7, 2011 Wells Fargo filed an objection to the 2004 Motion (doc. 27) on February 22, 2011 the UST filed a reply (doc. 37) and on March 15, 2011 Wells Fargo filed a supplemental brief (Doc. 43) and a Request for Hearing (doc. 44), which the court granted (doc. 45). The court heard oral argument on April 13, 2011.

III. Positions of the Parties

The UST argues that he may conduct a 2004 examination because Wells Fargo’s proof of claim fails to attach documentation that Wells Fargo had standing to file its claim. In particular, the UST asserts that the Mortgage and Note attached to the proof of claim reference only Washington Mutual Bank, FA and that it is unknown whether the Note and Mortgage were ever properly assigned to Wells Fargo. To assist in determining the validity of Wells Fargo’s claim, the UST requests that Wells Fargo produce the “transactional mortgage loan history on the Debtors’ mortgage loan, along with payments for escrow advances made by Wells Fargo.” 2004 Motion, Exhibit A. The UST also requests that Wells Fargo provide evidence of the chain of assignment of the Mortgage and endorsement of the Note. Finally, the UST seeks to examine a representative of Wells Fargo regarding those documents.

In response, Wells Fargo asserts that the statutory powers granted to the UST do not include the authority to investigate and determine validity of claims based on state law rights and unilaterally increase the documentation necessary to file a valid proof of claim under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure (“BR”) 3001.[5] Wells Fargo further argues that, assuming that the UST has the statutory powers to conduct a 2004 examination, the UST lacks good cause to request a 2004 examination because the proof of claim establishes that Wells Fargo holds the Note since a copy is attached to its proof of claim and because, under Ohio law, security follows the debt, it need not provide a copy of the assignment of the Mortgage. Finally, Wells Fargo challenges the UST’s request for a “complete loan history” as unnecessary. If the court allows the 2004 examination, Wells Fargo concludes that the scope of the document requests must be narrowed and any examination conducted at the place of employment of the individual representative who is examined.

IV. Legal Analysis

A. Jurisdiction

This court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334 and General Order No. 05-02 of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which is the general order of reference referring all bankruptcy proceedings and matters to this bankruptcy court. This is a core proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 157(b)(2)(A) and (O).

B. The Role of the United States Trustee’s Program

Because Wells Fargo challenges the UST’s authority to conduct 2004 examinations, an examination of the role of the UST, including the relevant statutes, is in order.

The UST was created by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (the “1978 Act”) as a pilot effort in select federal judicial districts of the United States to remedy the perceived institutional bias arising out of bankruptcy judges’ handling of both the judicial and administrative aspects of the bankruptcy system. H.R. Rep. No. 595, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 100, reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5963, 6061. Under the program, the UST was appointed to take over the administrative functions previously assumed by bankruptcy judges. Id.

To implement the newly created program, the 1978 Act added a new chapter to Title 28 of the United States Code, chapter 39, which addresses, among other things, the appointment, role, and salaries of United States trustees. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 581-586(a). Section 586 sets forth a list of the duties of the UST and defines the United States Attorney General’s supervision to be exercised over these trustees. 28 U.S.C. § 586; In re Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 384 B.R. 373, 380 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. 2008). It provides in relevant part that:

(a) Each United States trustee, within the region for which such United States trustee is appointed, shall—

(3) supervise the administration of cases and trustees in cases under chapter 7, 11, 12, 13, or 15 of title 11 by, whenever the United States trustee considers it to be appropriate—

[…]

(C) monitoring plans filed under chapters 12 and 13 of title 11 and filing with the court, in connection with hearings under sections 1224, 1229, 1324, and 1329 of such title, comments with respect to such plans;

[…]

(F) notifying the appropriate United States attorney of matters which relate to the occurrence of any action which may constitute a crime under the laws of the United States and, on the request of the United States attorney, assisting the United States attorney in carrying out prosecutions based on such action;

(G) monitoring the progress of cases under title 11 and taking such actions as the United States trustee deems to be appropriate to prevent undue delay in such progress…

28 U.S.C. § 586(a). The legislative history explains:

The Trustee in each case will be responsible for the administration of the case. The bill gives him adequate powers to accomplish what must be done, and relieves him of the necessity for applying to the court and receiving court approval for every action he proposes to take. The bill introduces the concept that the trustee may take any action necessary to the administration of the case if he notifies those parties in interest to whom notice would be appropriate under the particular circumstances . . . and provide an opportunity for a party in interest to object.

H.R. Rep. No. 595, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 107-108, reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5963, 6069. Based on the pilot program’s success, Congress expanded the program and made it permanent through the enactment of the Bankruptcy Judges, United States Trustees, and Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act of 1986 (the “1986 Act”), P.L. 99-554. See also U.S. Trustee v. Columbia Gas Sys., Inc. (In re Columbia Gas Sys. Inc.), 33 F.3d 294, 296 (3rd Cir. 1994).

As part of the 1986 Act, Congress added a new provision to the Code — 11 U.S.C. § 307. That section provides that “[t]he United States trustee may raise and may appear and be heard on any issue in any case or proceeding under this title but may not file a plan pursuant to section 1121(c) of this title” (emphasis added). The House Report explains:

The U.S. Trustee is given standing to raise, appear, and be heard on any issue in any case or proceeding under Title 11, U.S. Code-except that the U.S. Trustee may not file a plan in a Chapter 11 case. In this manner, the U.S. Trustee is given the same right to be heard as a party in interest, but retains the discretion to decide when a matter of concern to the proper administration of the bankruptcy laws should be raised.

H.R. Rep. No. 764, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. 27, reprinted in 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5227, 5240.

Wells Fargo advocates a view that restricts the powers granted to the UST to those specifically enumerated in § 586 and posits that § 307 is merely an enabling provision granting the UST the standing necessary to perform his duties under § 586. The UST argues that, pursuant to his congressionally mandated role as a “watchdog” of the bankruptcy system, § 586 and § 307 confer upon him broad authority to seek and conduct 2004 examinations.

C. Rule 2004 Examinations

The UST seeks to conduct an examination of Wells Fargo pursuant to BR 2004. It provides in pertinent part as follows:

(a) Examination on motion. On motion of any party in interest, the court may order the examination of any entity.

(b) Scope of examination. The examination of an entity under this rule or of the debtor under § 343 of the Code may relate only to the acts, conduct, or property or to the liabilities and financial condition of the debtor, or to any matter which may affect the administration of the debtor’s estate, or to the debtor’s right to a discharge. In . . . an individual’s debt adjustment case under chapter 13 . . ., the examination may also relate to the operation of any business and the desirability of its continuance, the source of any money or property acquired or to be acquired by the debtor for purposes of consummating a plan and the consideration given or offered therefor, and any other matter relevant to the case or to the formulation of a plan.

(c) Compelling attendance and production of documents. The attendance of an entity for examination and for the production of documents, whether the examination is to be conducted within or without the district in which the case is pending, may be compelled as provided in Rule 9016 for the attendance of a witness at a hearing or trial. As an officer of the court, an attorney may issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of the court for the district in which the examination is to be held if the attorney is admitted to practice in that court or in the court in which the case is pending.

* * * *

(e) Mileage. An entity other than a debtor shall not be required to attend as a witness unless lawful mileage and witness fee for one day’s attendance shall be first tendered . . . .

BR 2004.

The purpose of 2004 is to provide a tool to parties to a bankruptcy, particularly trustees, to obtain information concerning “the acts, conduct, or property” of the debtor, “the liabilities and financial condition of the debtor,” “any matter which may affect the administration of the debtor’s estate, or to the debtor’s right to a discharge,” and in a Chapter 11, 12, or 13 case, “the operation of any business and the desirability of its continuance, the source of any money or property acquired or to be acquired by the debtor for purposes of consummating a plan and the consideration given or offered therefor, and any other matter relevant to the case or to the formulation of a plan.” SeeIn re GHR Energy Corp., 35 B.R. 534, 536-38 (Bankr. Mass. 1983). See also In re Express One Int’l, Inc., 217 B.R. 215, 216 (Bankr. E.D. Tex. 1998) (The general purpose of a BR 2004 examination is to review the estate’s condition for the benefit of the rights of creditors.). BR 2004(b);

Bankruptcy courts have broad discretion in determining whether to order a 2004 examination. Bank One, Columbus NA v. Hammond (In re Hammond), 140 B.R. 197, 201 (S.D. Ohio 1992); In re Drexel Burnham Lambert Group, Inc., 123 B.R. 702, 708-09 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1991); and In re Fearn, 96 B.R. 135 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 1989). As Judge Cole noted, a 2004 examination’s scope is very broad:

It is well-established that the scope of a Rule 2004 examination is very broad and great latitude of inquiry is ordinarily permitted. The scope of examination permitted pursuant to Rule 2004 is wider than that allowed under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and can legitimately be in the nature of a “fishing expedition”. Although the primary purpose of a Rule 2004 examination is to permit a party in interest to quickly ascertain the extent and location of the estate’s assets, such examination is not limited to the debtor or his agents, but may properly extend to creditors and third parties who have had dealings with the debtor.

Id. at 137-38 (citations omitted). However, Judge Cole also noted that, while broad, the scope of Rule 2004 examinations is not “limitless.” Id. at 138. “The examination should not be so broad as to be more disruptive and costly to the party sought to be examined than beneficial to the party seeking discovery.” Id. Moreover, an examination cannot be used for purposes of abuse or harassment. Fearn, 96 B.R. at 138; In re Mittco, Inc., 44 B.R. 35, 36 (Bankr. E.D. Wisc. 1984).

The use of a 2004 examination is not permitted for matters not related to the financial condition of a debtor or a debtor’s estate. Upon a creditor objection, the examiner must establish “good cause,” taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances, including the importance of the information to the examiner and the costs and burdens on the creditor. See Countrywide Home Loans, 384 B.R. at 393. The level of good cause required to be established varies depending on the potential intrusiveness. Id., citing Fearn, 96 B.R. at 138. See also Official Cmte. Of Unsecured Creditors v. Eagle-Pitcher Indus., Inc. (In re Eagle-Pitcher Indus., Inc.), 169 B.R. 130, 134 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 1994)Hammond, 140 B.R. at 201 (similar). (examination should not be so broad as to be more disruptive and costly to the party to be examined than beneficial to the party seeking discovery);

D. The UST Has Authority to Monitor the Bankruptcy Claims Process

Wells Fargo argues that the UST lacks the authority under § 586 to investigate the proof of claim that it filed and, therefore, no basis exists for the UST to conduct a 2004 examination. Wells Fargo argues that § 586 sets forth the specific and limited tasks which the UST may undertake and that § 307 merely provides the UST with standing to take actions related to those specific tasks. Wells Fargo asserts that investigation of proofs of claim is not one of those specific tasks.

28 U.S.C. § 586(a)(3) grants the UST broad authority to “supervise the administration of cases and trustees in cases under chapter 7, 11, 12, 13, or 15 of title 11 by, whenever the United States trustee considers it to be appropriate . . . [.]” This authority includes “monitoring the progress of cases under title 11 and taking such actions as the United States trustee deems to be appropriate to prevent undue delay in such progress[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 586(a)(3)(G). As such, the UST is charged by statute with the duty to oversee and supervise the administration of bankruptcy cases. 28 U.S.C. § 586(a). Congress has summarized the role of the UST as protector of the public interest with the responsibility to ensure that bankruptcy cases are conducted in accordance with the law. Morgenstern v. Revco D.S., Inc. (In re Revco D.S., Inc.), 898 F.2d 498, 500 (6th Cir. 1990), citing H. Rep. No. 595 at 109, reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 6070; United Artists Theatre Co. v. Walton, 315 F.3d 217, 225 (3rd Cir. 2003); U.S. Trustee v. Clark (In re Clark), 927 F.2d 793, 795 (4th Cir. 1990); In re Plaza de Diego Shopping Center, 911 F.2d 820, 824 (1st Cir. 1990); Adams v. Zarnel (In re Zarnel), 619 F.3d 156, 162 (2nd Cir. 2010).

Further, Congress has expressly given the UST standing under § 307 to raise and be heard on any issue under title 11, except that the UST may not file a chapter 11 plan. 11 U.S.C. § 307; Revco, 898 F.2d at 500; United States Trustee v. Price Waterhouse, 19 F.3d 138, 141 (3rd Cir. 1994); U.S. Trustee v. FIshback (In re Glados, Inc.), 83 F.3d 1360, 1361, n.1 (11th Cir. 1996); In re Donovan Corp., 215 F.3d 929, 930 (9th Cir. 2000); Clark, 927 F.2d at 796; Plaza de Diego Shopping Center, 911 F.2d at 824.[6] Because of his role as representative of the public interest, the UST is not required to demonstrate any concrete pecuniary injury to exercise his standing under § 307 of the Code. Revco, 898 F.2d at 500. For example, the Sixth Circuit has held that a United States trustee had standing to appeal a bankruptcy court decision not to appoint an examiner under 1104(b)(2) because the public interest is a sufficient stake to confer standing upon the UST.[7] Id.

Wells Fargo’s argument that § 586 circumscribes the UST’s authority under § 307 contradicts the express language of § 307. Section 307 specifically provides that “[t]he United States trustee may raise and appear and be heard on any issue in any case or proceeding under this title . . . .” 11 U.S.C. § 307 (emphasis added). In enacting § 307, Congress did not limit the issues which the United States trustees may raise to those specifically enumerated in § 586. Rather, Congress used very broad, all-inclusive language to authorize the United States trustees to raise any issue in any case or proceeding. In Countrywide, after an extensive review of the history of the UST, including the legislative history behind §§ 586 and 307, case law interpreting the powers granted to the United States trustees under those provisions, and a thorough application of traditional canons of statutory interpretation, the court concluded that:

Section 307 is written in extremely broad language. Indeed it is difficult to conceive of how section 307 could have been written in any broader language. The court has thus no difficulty concluding that the plain meaning of the power to “raise” and to “appear and be heard” as to any issue in any bankruptcy case or proceeding includes the ability to conduct examinations pursuant to Rule 2004 in the right circumstances.

Countrywide, 384 B.R. at 384. The court adopts the thorough analysis performed by the Countrywide court in concluding that the UST’s authority is not limited to the specific tasks expressly mentioned in § 586 and that the UST may conduct the requested 2004 examination in this case.

The claims process, including the filing and allowance of claims, constitutes a significant part of the bankruptcy process. Sections 501 through 511 of the Code directly address the claims process in bankruptcy cases. Other Code provisions cover varying issues relating to the determination, allowance, and treatment of claims.[8] In addition to these Code provisions, Rules 3001 through 3014 address the claims process and claims issues in bankruptcy cases. Additional Rules cover the diverse issues relating to the determination, allowance, and treatment of claims.[9] Section 586 is broad enough to allow the UST to monitor the claims process, including through the investigation of proofs of claim filed by creditors, to assist in his duty of monitoring the progress of cases. Issues, with proofs of claims filed by mortgage lenders, affect the administration of cases. Accordingly, monitoring the claims process falls well within the UST’s duty to monitor the progress of bankruptcy cases.

Other courts have recognized the UST’s ability to monitor the claims process in bankruptcy cases and under the broad standing accorded by § 307, to object to proofs of claim. In re Borrows, 2011 WL 721842 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. Feb. 22, 2011). In Borrows, the United States trustee filed an objection to a mortgage lender’s proof of claim. The lender, rather than responding to the substance of the objection, challenged the United States trustee’s standing to object to claims. Id. at *1. The court determined that § 307 provided standing to the United States trustee to object to a proof of claim. In so deciding, it found that § 586(3)(G) provided “specific authority for the UST to bring an objection to claim under the circumstances of this case.” Id. at *2.[10]

Similarly, in Countrywide, the court concluded that the UST had sufficient interest to conduct a 2004 examination in connection with the UST’s challenge to Countrywide’s manner of calculating proofs of claim because “she has been charged to act as a watchdog to protect the integrity of the bankruptcy system.” Countrywide, 384 B.R. at 391, citingRevco, 898 F.2d at 500 and Eagle-Pitcher Holdings, 2005 WL 4030131, at *4 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio Aug. 26, 2005). The UST filed notices of 2004 examinations to obtain information from Countrywide in various bankruptcy cases alleging that the lender had engaged in questionable actions when filing proofs of claims. The UST sought to examine a corporate representative of Countrywide regarding “[its] bankruptcy procedures as they related to the Debtors’ financial affairs, the administration of their estate and the impact of Countrywide’s bankruptcy procedures on the integrity of the bankruptcy process in the Western District of Pennsylvania.” Countrywide, 384 B.R. at 400. The subpoena part of the request asked Countrywide to produce a variety of documents. The court rejected many of the same arguments made by Wells Fargo in this case in finding that the UST had the authority to conduct 2004 examinations relating to claims filed by Countrywide.

In addition, In re Wilson is instructive because it dealt with the UST’s on-going investigation into mortgage lenders’ filings in bankruptcy cases. 413 B.R. 330 (Bankr. E.D. La. 2009). In that case, the UST did not move for a 2004 examination but merely issued subpoenas to the mortgage lender. The court, finding “no reason to differ from the vast majority of courts on this issue” specifically adopted the reasoning in Countrywide, and allowed the UST to propound discovery on a mortgage lender in connection with allegations of improper filings by the lender pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §307 and § 105(a). Id. at 335-36. Noting that even though the UST had not sought discovery pursuant to 2004, “the preferable method for the UST to obtain the information it seeks from the [m]ovants,” the court concluded that its decision would have been the same. Id. at 336.

Perhaps most apposite to this case is the decision in In re Michalski, 449 B.R. 273 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2011). Wells Fargo filed a motion to quash a subpoena issued by the UST and requesting the court to reconsider an order granting a 2004 examination. The UST sought to examine records and documentation pertaining to the proof of claim which Wells Fargo filed in the debtors’ Chapter 13 case. While limiting the scope of the examination and documents to be produced, the court otherwise enforced the subpoena and denied the request to reconsider the granting of the 2004 examination. The court relied in large part on the rationale provided by Countrywide and Wilson and held that the UST had the authority “under Sections 307 and/or 586” to conduct the 2004 examination and to subpoena the documents underlying Wells Fargo’s proof of claim. Id. at 280.

Finally, another bankruptcy court rejected similar arguments made by BAC Home Loans Servicing, adopting the rationale of Countrywide, Wilson, and Michalski. The court stated: “The UST is charged to serve as a watchdog to protect the integrity of the bankruptcy system. That status compels the conclusion that Congress intended the UST to have the tools, including the ability to conduct Rule 2004 examinations and issue subpoenas, to carry out that duty. Without such authority, the UST’s role as a watchdog would be circumscribed and toothless.” In re Youk-See, ___ B.R. ___, 2011 WL 2458106, at *9 (Bankr. D. Mass. June 16, 2011).

The cases upon which Wells Fargo relies to argue that the UST’s authority under § 586 is very narrow do not alter this court’s conclusions. First, Wells Fargo cites In re Washington Mfg. Co., but that decision addressed the issue of whether a UST could intervene in an adversary proceeding under BR 7014, not the power of the UST to move for a 2004 examination. Citicorp North Amer., Inc. v. Finley (In re Washington Mfg. Co.) 123 B.R. 272, 275-76 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1991). Of even greater significance, Washington Mfg. was decided prior to the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Revco.[11]

Accordingly, the court concludes that the UST may be involved in the claims process by virtue of his duty to monitor the progress of bankruptcy cases in his role as the “public watchdog” of the system.

E. A 2004 Examination is a Tool Which the UST May Use in Exercising His Authority to Monitor the Progress of Bankruptcy Cases, Including the Claims Process

As noted, the UST has the authority under § 586 to monitor the progress of bankruptcy cases and to investigate conduct to determine if a crime has been conducted. Through § 307 Congress made the UST a party in interest to all bankruptcy cases and authorized the UST to appear in any case or proceeding and to raise any issue in any case or proceeding. The 2004 examination is a tool which Congress has given to parties in interest in bankruptcy cases to investigate matters relating to debtors’ financial condition, including to determine whether to proceed with litigation. A 2004 examination may be used by the UST to investigate proofs of claim filed in bankruptcy cases provided that the examination is otherwise appropriate under Rule 2004. Accordingly, the court will now address whether the UST’s requests in this case meet the requirements of Rule 2004.

F. The Requirements and Limits of Rule 2004 Examinations Applied to the UST’s Request

1. Standing: The UST Has Standing To Pursue a Rule 2004 Examination

For the reasons discussed, the UST has standing pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 586 and § 307 to pursue a 2004 examination.

2. Good Cause: The UST Has Established Good Cause for Conducting a 2004 Examination

Wells Fargo argues that the UST does not have the necessary good cause to conduct a 2004 examination. Wells Fargo explains that “[a] UST is not vested with the power to independently investigate and determine the validity of claims based on state law rights and, in the process, unilaterally increase the required documentation necessary for the filing of a valid proof of claim under Fed. R. Bankr. 3001.” doc. 27, p. 3. Wells Fargo further argues that “the documents attached to the Wells Fargo claim already establish its standing.” doc. 27, p. 8. The court disagrees.[12]

Essentially, Wells Fargo’s argument is premised upon an erroneous conclusion — that attaching a copy of a promissory note asserted to be the Note executed by the Debtors conclusively establishes that it is the holder of the Note and, therefore, is entitled to enforce the rights under the Note and Mortgage. See Objection, pp. 8-11. The court does not disagree with, and the UST has conceded, the propositions that under Ohio law the holder of a promissory note may enforce the note and that the rights under a mortgage are incidental to the rights under the promissory note which it secures.[13] However, Wells Fargo’s argument that attachment of a copy of a promissory note to a proof of claim conclusively establishes Wells Fargo’s standing to file the proof of claim is not well taken.

A properly filed proof of claim is only prima facie evidence of the validity of a claim, and the UST is entitled to verify that eligibility by requiring that original documents or other evidence of the claimant’s entitlement to file and enforce the claim be produced. 11 U.S.C. § 502(a). Wells Fargo’s argument that the UST’s request amounts to an attempt to rewrite the rules governing the documentation of proofs of claim misses the point. In seeking to verify Wells Fargo’s standing to file a proof of claim, the UST is seeking to ensure that Wells Fargo complies with the Code and the Rules and to verify that Wells Fargo is a creditor entitled to file a proof of claim under § 501 of the Code. While the UST has not yet challenged the validly of Wells Fargo’s claim by objecting to it, he is entitled to make preliminary inquiries before determining if an objection is warranted. That inquiry is exactly the purpose of a 2004 examination. As noted, the UST seeks production of the Note based on the fact that the copy of the Note affixed to Wells Fargo’s proof of claim, which Note is endorsed in blank, fails to show Wells Fargo as the holder of the Note. Wells Fargo’s ability to provide a copy of the Note does not necessarily equate to it being in possession of the original Note, much less being in its possession at the time it filed its proof of claim. Under these circumstances, the UST may seek to verify Wells Fargo’s entitlement to file the proof of claim, including review of the original Note or such other appropriate documentation to convince the UST that Wells Fargo is in possession of the original Note or otherwise was entitled to file the proof of claim.[14] In this regard, the court notes that the Debtors’ case is an open Chapter 13 case continuing to be administered by the Chapter 13 Trustee and an objection to the claim could still be made. After conducting its 2004 examination, the UST can decide if it is appropriate to object to Wells Fargo’s proof of claim or to take other appropriate action.

Under the standards described, the UST has established good cause to conduct a 2004 examination. The Debtors’ case is open and being administered. The UST has questioned the status of Wells Fargo as the legitimate holder of the Note and Mortgage attached to Wells Fargo’s proof of claim based on the fact that neither of those documents shows Wells Fargo as the holder. Because the Note was endorsed in blank, the UST seeks production of the original Note by Wells Fargo to evidence Wells Fargo’s possession of that Note. As the recognized “watchdog” of the bankruptcy system, charged with the duties to protect its integrity and to ensure that bankruptcy cases are conducted in accordance with the law, the UST is a party in interest entitled to seek to verify the standing of claimants and their entitlement to payment. Those matters relate to the Debtors’ liabilities and financial condition and may affect the administration of their estate and the dividend paid to unsecured creditors in particular. See BR 2004(b).

Wells Fargo also suggests that a 2004 examination is inappropriate because no objection to Wells Fargo’s proof of claim has been filed, but a contested matter is not required. See Hammond, 140 B.R. at 204 (A 2004 examination is appropriate to determine whether a potential plaintiff has grounds under 11 U.S.C. § 523(d) and BR 9011 for filing an action); In re Johnson, 2007 Bankr. LEXIS 3022 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio July 23, 2007) (2004 examination is normally a pre-litigation device); In re Michalski, 449 B.R. at 281 (“[A] Rule 2004 examination is frequently used as a pre-litigation tool . . . .”); Collier on Bankruptcy, ¶ 2004.01[1]. See also In re Robinson, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 1667 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. April 6, 2011) (United States trustee has standing to examine the representative of the holder of an allowed secured claim when no objection has been filed with respect to the claim by the Chapter 13 Trustee or anyone else.).

Having decided that good cause exists for the UST to conduct a 2004 examination, the last issue is whether the scope of the UST’s request is appropriate.

3. The Scope of the Examination

The UST seeks to examine a Wells Fargo representative at the UST’s office in Columbus, Ohio and requests that Wells Fargo produce the following documents:

1. The actual, contemporaneously-kept transactional mortgage loan history on the Debtors’ mortgage loan, along with payments for escrow advances made by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

2. Evidence of the chain of assignment of the mortgage and chain of endorsement of the note which would tend to support claimant’s right to make the within claim in Debtor’s bankruptcy case.

Motion, Exhibit A, p. 9.

Wells Fargo argues that the scope of the production of documents is too broad. It explains that it should not have to produce a complete loan history as it is irrelevant to Wells Fargo’s standing to file its proof of claim, the only basis asserted by the UST for his request. In that same vein, Wells Fargo adds that an in-person examination is superfluous as the standing issue can be addressed through the production of documents.

Rule 2004(c) provides with respect to examinations that:

Compelling attendance and production of documents. The attendance of an entity for examination and for the production of documents, whether the examination is to be conducted within or without the district in which the case is pending, may be compelled as provided in Rule 9016 for the attendance of a witness at a hearing or trial. As an officer of the court, an attorney may issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of the court for the district in which the examination is to be held if the attorney is admitted to practice in that court or in the court in which the case is pending.

BR 2004(c).

In Countrywide, the court linked the good cause requirement with the scope of the examination. The court was legitimately concerned with the potential for abuse that could occur if parties were given essentially carte blanche to conduct broad, unlimited investigations resulting in unwarranted expensive burdens on private parties. The court stated:

Countrywide points out that a finding of an unchecked power in the UST to pursue examinations of creditors under Rule 2004 could lead to full-scale “investigations” by the UST that would unfairly intrude into the private business affairs of creditors and chill their participation in the bankruptcy process. That is a legitimate concern which the Court takes seriously. While the UST was undoubtedly intended to be a “watchdog” of the bankruptcy system, that cannot and should not be viewed as providing a license for the UST to engage in potentially invasive and expensive Rule 2004 discovery based on nothing more than her own curiosity. Such a license would be inimical to bedrock principles underlying the relationship between the federal government and the people (intended in the broad sense, including corporations such as Countrywide.)

Countrywide, 384 B.R. at 392 [footnote omitted]. In order to guard against over-reaching intrusions and examinations, the court applied a sliding scale approach to determine whether the United States trustee had sufficient cause to justify the scope of the examination she sought to conduct. The court continued:

The question of whether the UST has shown sufficient good cause to pursue a Rule 2004 examination and the type of discovery implicitly allowed by the Rule in a given matter is not suited to application of a mechanical test. Rather, a totality of circumstances approach is required, taking into account all relevant factors. Consistent with this approach it is appropriate to apply the “good cause” standard in what may be termed a “sliding scale” manner or balancing test. That is to say, the level of good cause required to be established by the UST before she can obtain certain documents or pursue a certain line of inquiry in a Rule 2004 examination involving a creditor will vary depending on the potential intrusiveness involved.

Id. at 393. While such factors may bear on whether good cause exists for a 2004 examination, these considerations are even more useful in determining the appropriate scope of the examination once a party establishes standing and good cause. The more compelling the cause, the greater latitude the court will allow for the 2004 examination.

In this case the UST’s cause for the examination is narrow — determining whether Wells Fargo was legally entitled to file the proof of claim. Accordingly, the scope of any examination granted should likewise be narrowly focused. In order to verify Wells Fargo’s entitlement to file a proof of claim in this case, the UST is entitled to review the original Note and any such documents that establish Wells Fargo is the holder of the Note under the Ohio Uniform Commercial Code and when Wells Fargo came into possession of the original Note. To the extent that the “contemporaneously-kept transactional mortgage loan history on the Debtors’ mortgage loan” is intended by the UST to capture documents in Wells Fargo’s possession relating to the transfer of the Note or interests in the Note from one entity to another until Wells Fargo became the holder of the Note, the request is granted and Wells Fargo shall produce such documents to the UST.[15] In addition, the request for documents pertaining to “the chain of assignment of the mortgage and chain of endorsement of the note which would tend to support claimant’s right to make the within claim in Debtor’s bankruptcy case” is granted as those documents are clearly relevant to the UST’s inquiry into Wells Fargo’s legal basis and standing for filing the proof of claim. However, to the extent that the UST is seeking a loan history relating to the payments made by the Debtors, charges made by the lender on the account, and other debits and credits relating to the loan evidenced by the Note and Mortgage, or any documents other than the original Note and other documents pertaining to the chain of ownership interests in the Note, the UST’s request is denied. The UST is not challenging the amount of the claim filed by Wells Fargo or any other issue other than the legal basis for its filing the proof of claim and, therefore, any other such documents would unnecessarily burden Wells Fargo. Any production of documentations authorized in this decision shall occur within forty-five (45) days after entry of the court’s order on this decision unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

After the documents are produced by Wells Fargo, if the UST determines that the documents produced do not establish Wells Fargo as the person entitled to enforce the Note under Ohio law and that it had that status at the time the proof of claim was filed, then at the request of the UST, Wells Fargo shall appear for an oral examination through an appropriate representative designated by Wells Fargo to be examined concerning how Wells Fargo became the holder of the Note. Any such examination shall take place at the office of the UST nearest to the principal place of business of the representative designated by Wells Fargo to be orally examined or at such other location or manner as the parties may agree.[16] To the extent such oral examination is not conducted by consent of the parties, the UST shall comply with the requirements of Rule 2004(c) and (d).

V. Conclusion

For the foregoing reasons, the court grants in part and denies in part the UST’s Motion for Entry of an Order Authorizing the Examination of and Production of Documents by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2004 and 9016 (doc. 27). The court finds that the UST has the authority to investigate the proof of claim filed by Wells Fargo and has standing to conduct a 2004 examination for that purpose and that the UST has demonstrated good cause to conduct a 2004 examination. However, the examination shall be limited as provided by this decision, with an oral examination to occur only in the event that the documentary production is insufficient to establish Wells Fargo’s standing to file the proof of claim. In the event that the UST determines that an oral examination is necessary, the oral examination shall be conducted in accordance with BR 2004(c) and (d) and this decision, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.

The court is concurrently entering an order consistent with this decision.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

[1] “United States trustee” includes a designee of the United States Trustee. 11 U.S.C. § 102(9). For simplicity, the court will use the abbreviation “UST” whether referring to the movant, Daniel M. McDermott, United States Trustee for Region 9, his designee, or the United States Trustee program generally.

[2] See e.g., Harker v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA (In re Krause), 414 B.R. 243, 268, n.22 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2009); In re Parsley, 384 B.R. 138 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008); Nosek v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co. (In re Nosek), 386 B.R. 374 (Bankr. D. Mass 2008), aff’d in part, vacated in part 406 B.R. 434 (D. Mass. 2009), aff’d as modified 609 F.3d 6 (1st Cir. 2010); In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F. Supp. 2d 650 (N.D. Ohio 2007).

[3] See In re Saffold, 373 B.R. 39, 42 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2007); Chris Markus, Ron Taylor & Blake Vogt, From Main Street to Wall Street: Mortgage Loan Securitization and New Challenges Facing Foreclosure Plaintiffs in Kentucky, 36 N. Ky. L. Rev. 395 (2009).

[4] The proof of claim describes the creditor as Wells Fargo Bank, NA and the name to which notices and payments should be sent as Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. The United States Trustee, in his motion, used Wells Fargo Home Mortgage while the creditor used Wells Fargo Bank, NA in its filings. The court will simply refer to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage collectively as “Wells Fargo.”

[5] Unless otherwise noted, all references to rules of court shall be to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (“BR”).

[6] Some courts have discussed whether § 307 enlarges or further defines the authority granted to the UST § 586. See e.g., In re Parsley, 384 B.R. 138, 147 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008) (it is well within the authority of the UST to investigate the activities of a loan servicer and its local and national counsel); In re South Beach Securities, Inc., 606 F.3d 366, 371 (7th Cir 2010) (finding, among other things, that section 307 gives the United States UST the power to object to a chapter 11 plan of reorganization in his role as guardian of the public interest in bankruptcy proceedings); In re LWD Inc., 342 B.R. 514, 519 (Bankr. W.D. Ky. 2006) (the UST is not limited to the duties set out in § 586); and Zarnel, 619 F.3d at 161-62. Wells Fargo’s argument relies in large part on this debate, wanting this court to conclude that § 586 limits the authority of the UST, while § 307 is merely a standing provision giving the UST authority to act in bankruptcy cases in those areas expressly mentioned in § 586. While the interaction between § 586 and § 307 and the reach of these statutes continues to be debated, this court only finds that under § 586 and § 307 the UST has sufficient authority to conduct a 2004 examination under these circumstances. Even if § 586 circumscribes § 307, the court finds that the UST has sufficient authority under § 586 to monitor the progress of cases, including the claims process, and that includes the ability to object to claims and to conduct 2004 examinations. See In re Borrows, 2011 WL 721842 at *2 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. Feb. 22, 2011) (“Without deciding whether Section 586 is all inclusive as to the permissible activities of the UST in bankruptcy cases, the Court concludes that subsection (a)(3)(G) of Section 586 provides specific authority for the UST to bring an objection to [a] claim under the circumstances of this case.”).

[7] The United States Supreme Court has long recognized that the pecuniary interest test may not be the only test to confer standing and that noneconomic tests may also confer standing as long as the “interest sought to be protected by the complainant is arguably within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in question.” Ass’n of Data Processing Servs. Orgs., Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 153 (1970).

[8] See e.g., § 523 (concerning dischargeability of debts); § 524 (c) & (d) (concerning reaffirmation agreements); § 552 (concerning the post-petition effect of prepetition security interests); § 553 (concerning setoffs against claims); § 1111 (deeming proofs of claim or interest in Chapter 11 cases filed for claims or interests scheduled other than as disputed, contingent, or unliquidated and allowing for the “1111(b)” election for secured creditors); and §§ 1122, 1222(a)(3), and 1322(a)(3) (concerning classification and treatment of claims and interests in Chapter 11, 12, and 13 plans).

[9] See e.g., BR 1007 (concerning the filing of the schedules and other documents at the inception of the case); 2016 (professional compensation and reimbursement of expenses); 3021 (distribution to claims under a plan); 4007 (outlining the procedure for determinations of the dischargeability of debts); and 4008 (outlining the reaffirmation process).

[10] Although the obligation to challenge the validity of filed proofs of claim generally falls upon debtors or standing trustees, the overarching duty of the UST is to ensure the proper management of debtors’ debts provides them with the requisite standing to review proofs of claims. See In re Wassenaar, 268 B.R. 477, 479 (W.D. Va. 2001). Wells Fargo argues that the UST cannot interject himself into state law issues as to the validity of proofs of claim. However, in Wassenaar, the court rejected this notion, stating: “[t]he question in this case is whether creditors’ attorney’s fees should be charged as an administrative expense to the bankruptcy estate. While this issue focuses on the state-law question of awarding attorney’s fees, the federal bankruptcy issue remains. The United States Trustee’s interest is plain: to ensure the proper management of Kurt Wassenaar’s debts. The Bankruptcy Court, therefore, properly allowed the Trustee to participate in this case.” Id. at 479. See also Borrows, 2011 WL 721842, at *3 (rejecting BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P.’s argument that granting the UST authority to investigate proofs of claim “impermissibly encroaches on the province of the Chapter 13 trustee to object to proofs of claim.”).

[11] Wells Fargo also cites to In re Gold Standard Baking, Inc., 179 B.R. 98 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 1995) and In re Howard Ins. Agency, Inc., 109 B.R. 445, 446 (Bankr. N.D. Okla. 1989). Both cases are distinguishable in that the former dealt with a UST’s attempt to impose a new requirement on Chapter 11 debtors-in-possession to imprint their checks with the phrase “Debtor in Possession” and the latter with the power of the UST to promulgate administrative regulations.

[12] Another court rejected essentially this same argument made by Wells Fargo in In re Michalski, 449 B.R. 273 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2011) (“Wells Fargo mistakenly construes the Rule 2004 examination as an attempt by the UST to `unilaterally increase the requirements for filing a valid proof of claim.'” Id. at 280 (internal citations omitted). Noting that determination of proofs of claim in bankruptcy cases frequently requires analysis of state law, the court found that “[t]his argument totally misses the mark” and that the UST could conduct a Rule 2004 examination to obtain information from Wells Fargo concerning the proof of claim it filed in that case. Id.

[13] Under Ohio law, security follows the note and therefore whoever holds the note also holds any security securing such note. See Noland v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (In re Williams), 395 B.R. 33, 47 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2008), citing Gemini Services, Inc. v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (In re Gemini Services, Inc.), 350 B.R. 74, 82 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2006).

[14] The most common, but not exclusive way to establish being the “person entitled to enforce” a negotiable instrument, under the Ohio U.C.C., is to be the holder, such as a typical promissory note. See Ohio Revised Code § 1303.31 (Person entitled to enforce an instrument). If a promissory note is endorsed in blank, possession of the original note, endorsed in blank, establishes the right to enforce it as the holder and, therefore, standing to file a proof of claim. Densmore v. Litton Loan Servicing, L.P. (In re Densmore), ___ B.R. ___, 2011 WL 1181359 (Bankr. D. Ct. March 21, 2011).

[15] It appears that there may be some confusion as to what the UST meant with respect to “transactional loan history.” Wells Fargo appears to construe this request as a request for a “complete loan history,” or in other words, the history of payments made by the Debtors and charges made by the lender relating to the loan account and perhaps this construction of that request is understandable given the ending phrase of that request — “along with payments for escrow advances made by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.” See doc. 27, pp. 8 & 11.

[16] The UST has suggested the possibility of videoconferencing.

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BANK OF NEW YORK v. SILVERBERG | NY 2nd APPELLATE DIVISION “MERS DOES NOT HAVE RIGHT TO FORECLOSE OR ASSIGN IF NOT HOLDER OF NOTE”

BANK OF NEW YORK v. SILVERBERG | NY 2nd APPELLATE DIVISION “MERS DOES NOT HAVE RIGHT TO FORECLOSE OR ASSIGN IF NOT HOLDER OF NOTE”


Decided on June 7, 2011

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

APPELLATE DIVISION : SECOND JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

ANITA R. FLORIO, J.P.
THOMAS A. DICKERSON
JOHN M. LEVENTHAL
ARIEL E. BELEN, JJ.
2010-00131
(Index No. 17464-08)

[*1]Bank of New York, etc., respondent,v

Stephen Silverberg, et al., appellants, et al., defendants.

APPEAL by the defendants Stephen Silverberg and Fredrica Silverberg, in an action to foreclose a mortgage, from an order of the Supreme Court (Denise F. Molia, J.), dated September 24, 2008, and entered in Suffolk County, which denied their motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them for lack of standing. Stephen C. Silverberg, PLLC, Uniondale N.Y., for appellants.

McCabe, Weisberg & Conway, P.C., New Rochelle, N.Y. (Lisa
L. Wallace and Doron Zanani of counsel), for respondent.

OPINION & ORDER

LEVENTHAL, J.This matter involves the enforcement of the rules that govern real property and whether such rules should be bent to accommodate a system that has taken on a life of its own. The issue presented on this appeal is whether a party has standing to commence a foreclosure action when that party’s assignor—in this case, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (hereinafter MERS)—was listed in the underlying mortgage instruments as a nominee and mortgagee for the purpose of recording, but was never the actual holder or assignee of the underlying notes. We answer this question in the negative.

In October 2006 the defendants Stephen Silverberg and Fredrica Silverberg (hereinafter together the defendants) borrowed the sum of $450,000 from Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (hereinafter Countrywide), to purchase residential real property in Greenlawn, New York (hereinafter the property). The loan was secured by a mortgage on the property (hereinafter the initial mortgage). The initial mortgage refers to MERS as the mortgagee for the purpose of recording, and provides that the underlying promissory note is in favor of Countrywide [FN1]. Further, the initial mortgage provides that “MERS holds only legal title to the rights granted by the [defendants] . . . but, if necessary to comply with law or custom,” MERS purportedly has the right to foreclose and “to take any action required of [Countrywide].” On November 2, 2006, the initial mortgage was recorded in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk.

On April 23, 2007, the defendants executed a second mortgage on the subject property in favor of MERS, as named mortgagee and nominee of Countrywide. The defendants [*2]simultaneously executed a note in favor of Countrywide, secured by the second mortgage. The promissory note secured by the second mortgage provided that payment would be made to Countrywide, and that Countrywide “may transfer this Note.” The second mortgage was recorded in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk on June 12, 2007.

In sections entitled “Borrower’s Transfer to Lender of Rights in the Property” set forth in both the initial mortgage and the second mortgage, those documents provide:

“[The Borrowers] understand and agree that MERS holds only legal title to the rights granted by [the Borrowers] in this Security Instrument, but, if necessary to comply with law or custom, MERS (as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns) has the right:

“(A) to exercise any or all of those rights, [granted by the Borrowers to Countrywide] including, but not limited to, the right to foreclose and sell the Property; and

“(B) to take any action required of Lender including, but not limited to, releasing and canceling this Security Instrument.”

Consolidation Agreement

Also in April 2007, the defendants executed a consolidation agreement in connection with the property in the sum of $479,000 in favor of MERS, as mortgagee and nominee of Countrywide . Countrywide was the named lender and note holder. The consolidation agreement purportedly merged the two prior notes and mortgages into one loan obligation. The consolidation agreement was recorded in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk on June 12, 2007. The consolidation agreement, as with the prior mortgages, recites that MERS was “acting solely as a nominee for [Countrywide] and [Countrywide’s] successors and assigns . . . For purposes of recording this agreement, MERS is the mortgagee of record.” Countrywide, however, was not a party to the consolidation agreement.

In December 2007 the defendants defaulted on the consolidation agreement. Meanwhile, on April 30, 2008, by way of a “corrected assignment of mortgage,” MERS, as Countrywide’s nominee, assigned the consolidation agreement to the Bank of New York, as Trustee For the Benefit of the Certificate Holders, CWALT, Inc., Alternate Loan Trust 2007-14-T2, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 2007-14T2 (hereinafter the plaintiff). On May 6, 2008, the plaintiff commenced this mortgage foreclosure action against the defendants, among others.

In June 2008 the defendants moved pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them for lack of standing. In support of their motion, the defendants submitted, inter alia, the underlying mortgages, the summons and complaint, the second note, and an attorney’s affirmation. In the affirmation, the defendants argued, among other things, that the complaint failed to establish a chain of ownership of the notes and mortgages from Countrywide to the plaintiff. In opposition to the defendants’ motion, the plaintiff submitted, inter alia, the corrected assignment of mortgage dated April 30, 2008.
The Order Appealed From

In an order dated September 24, 2008, the Supreme Court denied the defendant’s motion, concluding that, prior to the commencement of the action, MERS, as Countrywide’s nominee, and on Countrywide’s behalf, assigned the mortgages described in the consolidation agreement. Hence, the Supreme Court determined that the plaintiff was the owner of the “consolidated Note and Mortgage” and, thus, the proper party to commence the action.

On appeal, the defendants argue that the plaintiff lacks standing to sue because it did not own the notes and mortgages at the time it commenced the foreclosure action. Specifically, the defendants contend that neither MERS nor Countrywide ever transferred or endorsed the notes described in the consolidation agreement to the plaintiff, as required by the Uniform Commercial Code. Moreover, the defendants assert that the mortgages were never properly assigned to the plaintiff because MERS, as nominee for Countrywide, did not have the authority to effectuate an assignment of the mortgages. The defendants further assert that the mortgages and notes were bifurcated, rendering the mortgages unenforceable and foreclosure impossible, and that because of such bifurcation, MERS never had an assignable interest in the notes. The defendants also contend [*3]that the Supreme Court erred in considering the corrected assignment of mortgage because it was not authenticated by someone with personal knowledge of how and when it was created, and was improperly submitted in opposition to the motion.
MERS

“In 1993, the MERS system was created by several large participants in the real estate mortgage industry to track ownership interests in residential mortgages” (Matter of MERSCORP, Inc. v Romaine, 8 NY3d 90, 96). MERS was intended to “streamline the mortgage process by using electronic commerce to eliminate paper.”[FN2] MERS’s implementation followed the delays occasioned by local recording offices, which were at times slow in recording instruments because of complex local regulations and database systems that had become voluminous and increasingly difficult to search (see Peterson, Foreclosure, Subprime Mortgage Lending, and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, 78 U Cin L Rev 1359, 1366 [2010]).

“Mortgage lenders and other entities, known as MERS members, subscribe to the MERS system and pay annual fees for the electronic processing and tracking of ownership and transfers of mortgages. Members contractually agree to appoint MERS to act as their common agent on all mortgages they register in the MERS system” (Matter of MERSCORP, Inc. v Romaine, 8 NY3d at 96 [internal footnotes omitted]).

The MERS system facilitated the transfer of loans into pools of other loans which were then sold to investors as securities (see Peterson, at 1361-1362). MERS delivers savings to the participants in the real estate mortgage industry by allowing those entities to avoid the payment of fees which local governments require to record mortgage assignments (see Peterson at 1368-1369).

Lenders identify MERS as nominee and mortgagee for its members’ successors and assignees. MERS remains the mortgagee of record in local county recording offices regardless of how many times the mortgage is transferred, thus freeing MERS’s members from paying the recording fees that would otherwise be furnished to the relevant localities (id.; see Matter of MERSCORP, Inc. v Romaine, 8 NY3d at 100). This leaves borrowers and the local county or municipal recording offices unaware of the identity of the true owner of the note, and extinguishes a source of revenue to the localities. According to MERS, any loan registered in its system is “inoculated against future assignments because MERS remains the mortgagee no matter how many times servicing is traded.”[FN3] Moreover, MERS does not lend money, does not receive payments on promissory notes, and does not service loans by collecting loan payments.
Analysis

Relevant to our determination is the decision of the Court of Appeals in Matter of MERSCORP, Inc. v Romaine (8 NY3d 90), which held that the Suffolk County Clerk was compelled to record and index mortgages, assignments of mortgages, and discharges of mortgages that named MERS as the lender’s nominee or mortgagee of record. In a concurring opinion, Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick specified that the issue of whether MERS has standing to prosecute a foreclosure action remained for another day (id. at 100). In a dissent, former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye posited that the MERS system raised several concerns, including the elimination of the public records which document mortgage loan ownership (id. at 100-105).

The principal issue ripe for determination by this Court, and which was left unaddressed by the majority in Matter of MERSCORP (id.), is whether MERS, as nominee and mortgagee for purposes of recording, can assign the right to foreclose upon a mortgage to a plaintiff in a foreclosure action absent MERS’s right to, or possession of, the actual underlying promissory note.

Standing requires an inquiry into whether a litigant has “an interest . . . in the lawsuit that the law will recognize as a sufficient predicate for determining the issue at the litigant’s request” [*4](Caprer v Nussbaum, 36 AD3d 176, 182; see New York State Assn. of Nurse Anesthetists v Novello, 2 NY3d 207, 211; Wells Fargo Bank Minn., N.A. v Mastropaolo, 42 AD3d 239, 242). Where, as here, the issue of standing is raised by a defendant, a plaintiff must prove its standing in order to be entitled to relief (see U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 753; Wells Fargo Bank Minn., N.A. v Mastropaolo, 42 AD3d at 242). In a mortgage foreclosure action, a plaintiff has standing where it is both the holder or assignee of the subject mortgage and the holder or assignee of the underlying note at the time the action is commenced (see U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d at 753; Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709, 709; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 207-208; Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v Coakley, 41 AD3d 674, 674; Federal Natl. Mtge. Assn. v Youkelsone, 303 AD2d 546, 546-547; First Trust Natl. Assn. v Meisels, 234 AD2d 414).

As a general matter, once a promissory note is tendered to and accepted by an assignee, the mortgage passes as an incident to the note (see Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v Coakley, 41 AD3d 674; Smith v Wagner, 106 Misc 170, 178 [“assignment of the debt carries with it the security therefor, even though such security be not formally transferred in writing”]; see also Weaver Hardware Co. v Solomovitz, 235 NY 321, 331-332 [“a mortgage given to secure notes is an incident to the latter and stands or falls with them”]; Matter of Falls, 31 Misc 658, 660, affd 66 App Div 616 [“The deed being given as collateral for the payment of the note [,] the transfer of the note carried the security”]).

By contrast, “a transfer of the mortgage without the debt is a nullity, and no interest is acquired by it” (Merritt v Bantholick, 36 NY 44, 45; see Carpenter v Longan, 83 US 271, 274 [an assignment of the mortgage without the note is a nullity]; US Bank N.A. v Madero, 80 AD3d 751, 752; U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d at 754; Kluge v Fugazy, 145 AD2d 537, 538 [plaintiff, the assignee of a mortgage without the underlying note, could not bring a foreclosure action]; Flyer v Sullivan, 284 App Div 697, 698 [mortgagee’s assignment of the mortgage lien, without assignment of the debt, is a nullity]; Beak v Walts, 266 App Div 900). A “mortgage is merely security for a debt or other obligation and cannot exist independently of the debt or obligation” (FGB Realty Advisors v Parisi, 265 AD2d 297, 298). Consequently, the foreclosure of a mortgage cannot be pursued by one who has no demonstrated right to the debt (id.; see Bergman on New York Mortgage Foreclosures § 12.05[1][a][1991]).

The defendants contend, among other things, that because the plaintiff failed to provide proof of recording of the corrected assignment of the mortgage prior to the commencement of the action, it may be inferred that the plaintiff did not own the notes and mortgages prior to that date. However, this particular contention is without merit, as an assignment of a note and mortgage need not be in writing and can be effectuated by physical delivery (see LaSalle Bank Natl. Assn. v Ahearn, 59 AD3d 911, 912). Moreover, ” [n]o special form or language is necessary to effect an assignment as long as the language shows the intention of the owner of a right to transfer it'” (Suraleb, Inc. v International Trade Club, Inc., 13 AD3d 612, 612, quoting Tawil v Finkelstein Bruckman Wohl Most & Rothman, 223 AD2d 52, 55).

Here, the consolidation agreement purported to merge the two prior notes and mortgages into one loan obligation. Countrywide, as noted above, was not a party to the consolidation agreement. ” Either a written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action is sufficient to transfer the obligation, and the mortgage passes with the debt as an inseparable incident'” (US Bank N.A. v Madero, 80 AD3d at 753, quoting U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d at 754; see LaSalle Bank Natl. Assn. v Ahearn, 59 AD3d at 912). The plaintiff relies upon the language in the consolidation agreement, which provides that MERS was “acting solely as a nominee for [Countrywide] and [Countrywide’s] successors and assigns . . . For purposes of recording this agreement, MERS is the mortgagee of record.” However, as “nominee,” MERS’s authority was limited to only those powers which were specifically conferred to it and authorized by the lender (see Black’s Law Dictionary 1076 [8th ed 2004] [defining a nominee as “(a) person designated to act in place of another, (usually) in a very limited way”]). Hence, although the consolidation agreement gave MERS the right to assign the mortgages themselves, it did not specifically give MERS the right to assign the underlying notes, and the assignment of the notes was thus beyond MERS’s authority as nominee or agent of the lender (see Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Weisblum,AD3d, 2011 NY Slip Op 04184, *6-7 [2d Dept 2011]; HSBC Bank USA v Squitieri, 29 Misc 3d 1225[A], 2010 NY Slip Op 52000[U]; LNV Corp. v Madison Real Estate, LLC, 2010 NY Slip Op 33376[U]; LPP Mtge. Ltd. [*5]v Sabine Props., LLC, 2010 NY Slip Op 32367[U]; Bank of NY v Mulligan, 28 Misc 3d 1226[A], 2010 NY Slip Op 51509[U]; OneWest Bank, F.S.B. v Drayton, 29 Misc 3d 1021; Bank of N.Y. v Alderazi, 28 Misc 3d 376, 379-380 [the “party who claims to be the agent of another bears the burden of proving the agency relationship by a preponderance of the evidence”]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Yeasmin, 27 Misc 3d 1227[A], 2010 NY Slip Op 50927[U]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Vasquez, 24 Misc 3d 1239[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51814[U]; Bank of N.Y. v Trezza, 14 Misc 3d 1201[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 52367[U]; LaSalle Bank Natl. Assn. v Lamy, 12 Misc 3d 1191[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51534[U]; Matter of Agard, 444 BR 231; but see US Bank N.A. v Flynn, 27 Misc 3d 802).

Therefore, assuming that the consolidation agreement transformed MERS into a mortgagee for the purpose of recording—even though it never loaned any money, never had a right to receive payment of the loan, and never had a right to foreclose on the property upon a default in payment—the consolidation agreement did not give MERS title to the note, nor does the record show that the note was physically delivered to MERS. Indeed, the consolidation agreement defines “Note Holder,” rather than the mortgagee, as the “Lender or anyone who succeeds to Lender’s right under the Agreement and who is entitled to receive the payments under the Agreement.” Hence, the plaintiff, which merely stepped into the shoes of MERS, its assignor, and gained only that to which its assignor was entitled (see Matter of International Ribbon Mills [Arjan Ribbons], 36 NY2d 121, 126; see also UCC 3-201 [“(t)ransfer of an instrument vests in the transferee such rights as the transferor has therein”]), did not acquire the power to foreclose by way of the corrected assignment.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the plaintiff contends that case law supports its position that MERS has the power to foreclose, where, as here, MERS is identified in a mortgage as nominee and mortgagee for the purpose of recording. In this regard, the plaintiff relies upon Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v Coakley (41 AD3d 674), wherein this Court held that MERS had standing to foreclose a mortgage. In that case, unlike in the current case, the lender had transferred and tendered the promissory note to MERS before the commencement of the foreclosure action (id. at 674). Therefore, we held that MERS had standing to bring the foreclosure action because it “was the lawful holder of the promissory note and of the mortgage, which passed as an incident to the promissory note” (id. at 674 [citations omitted]). Although that determination was a sufficient basis upon which to conclude that MERS had standing, we elaborated, stating,

“further support for MERS’s standing to commence the action may be found on the face of the mortgage instrument itself. Pursuant to the clear and unequivocal terms of the mortgage instrument, [the mortgagor] expressly agreed without qualification that MERS had the right to foreclose upon the premises in the event of a default” (id. at 675).

According to the plaintiff, Coakley indicates that this Court has determined that such broad provisions in mortgages, such as the initial mortgage and second mortgage here, standing alone, grant MERS, as nominee and mortgagee for the purpose of recording, the power to foreclose. On the contrary, the Coakley decision does not stand for that proposition. This Court’s holding in Coakley was dependent upon the fact that MERS held the note before commencing the foreclosure action. In the absence of that crucial fact, the language in the mortgage instrument would not have provided “further support” for the proposition that MERS had the power to foreclose in that case. Furthermore, the language in the initial mortgage and the second mortgage in this case, purportedly granting MERS the right to foreclose, was superseded by the consolidation agreement. Moreover, as discussed above, the broad language relied upon by the plaintiff cannot overcome the requirement that the foreclosing party be both the holder or assignee of the subject mortgage, and the holder or assignee of the underlying note, at the time the action is commenced.

In sum, because MERS was never the lawful holder or assignee of the notes described and identified in the consolidation agreement, the corrected assignment of mortgage is a nullity, and MERS was without authority to assign the power to foreclose to the plaintiff. Consequently, the plaintiff failed to show that it had standing to foreclose.

MERS purportedly holds approximately 60 million mortgage loans (see Michael Powell & Gretchen Morgenson, MERS? It May Have Swallowed Your Loan, New York Times, March 5, 2011), and is involved in the origination of approximately 60% of all mortgage loans in the United States (see Peterson at 1362; Kate Berry, Foreclosures Turn Up Heat on MERS, Am. [*6]Banker, July 10, 2007, at 1). This Court is mindful of the impact that this decision may have on the mortgage industry in New York, and perhaps the nation. Nonetheless, the law must not yield to expediency and the convenience of lending institutions. Proper procedures must be followed to ensure the reliability of the chain of ownership, to secure the dependable transfer of property, and to assure the enforcement of the rules that govern real property.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted the defendants’ motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them for lack of standing. Thus, the order is reversed, on the law, and the motion of the defendants Stephen Silverberg and Fredrica Silverberg pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them for lack of standing is granted.
FLORIO, J.P., DICKERSON, and BELEN, JJ., concur.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, and the motion of the defendants Stephen Silverberg and Fredrica Silverberg pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them for lack of standing is granted.

ENTER:

Matthew G. Kiernan

Clerk of the Court

Footnotes

Footnote 1: The promissory note executed in connection with the initial mortgage is not included in the record.

Footnote 2: About Us-Overview, MERS, http://www.mersinc.org/about/index.aspx (last visited Apr. 26, 2011).

Footnote 3: see About Us-Overview, MERS, http://www.mersinc.org/about/index.aspx (last visited Apr. 26, 2011).

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Judge sides with homeowners in foreclosure suit due to foreclosing entities not sure who owns note

Judge sides with homeowners in foreclosure suit due to foreclosing entities not sure who owns note


Salt Lake Tribune-

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson left open a legal window Wednesday for two South Jordan residents facing the loss of their house, one of the first cracks in federal court for Utahns trying to save homes from the wave of foreclosures swamping the state.

Benson declined to grant a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Michael and Dana Geddes to halt the foreclosure on their home while they try to negotiate a loan modification. That means the couple and their attorney can proceed with gathering testimony and documents to try to prove their contention that the foreclosure process to which they’re being subjected does not comply with Utah and federal laws.

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MUST READ | Ohio Supreme Court Reviews Order Certifying Conflict Exists “Owner AND Holder”

MUST READ | Ohio Supreme Court Reviews Order Certifying Conflict Exists “Owner AND Holder”


Read this below first to understand the Supreme Court:

[CLICK LINK] to OHIO APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS “NO STANDING TO FORECLOSE” U.S. BANK v. DUVALL

U.S. Bank National Assoc.
v.
Antoine Duvall et al.

This cause is pending before the Court on the certification of a conflict by the Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County. On review of the order certifying a conflict, it is determined that a conflict exists. The parties are to brief the issue stated in the court of appeals’ Judgment Entry filed January 31, 2011, as follows:

“To have standing as a plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action, must a party show that it owned the note and the mortgage when the complaint was filed?”

It is ordered by the Court that the Clerk shall issue an order for the transmittal of the record from the Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County.

(Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals; No. 94174)

Maureen O’Connor
Chief Justice

Case Announcements:

The conflict cases are U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Bayless, Delaware App. No. 09
CAE 01 004, 2009-Ohio-6115, U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Marcino, 181 Ohio App.3d 328,
2009-Ohio-1178, Bank of New York v. Stuart, Lorain App. No. 06CA008953,
2007-Ohio-1483, and Countrywide Home Loan Servicing, L.P. v. Thomas, Franklin
App. No. 09AP-819, 2010-Ohio-3018.

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As We Were Saying, eMortgage Coming To Your Town?

As We Were Saying, eMortgage Coming To Your Town?


Come hungry…close a loan electronically within 15 minutes and with doughnuts. Not like it took any longer the paper route!

Providing all the ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’ currently happening in foreclosure land, just hope your eNote/eMortgage doesn’t get deleted by accident.

via Housing Wire:

Harry Gardner, president of SigniaDocs, said the perfect infrastructure is one that manages all mortgage documents electronically, but the number of loans in the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems’ eRegistry is about 200,000, or “a small fraction of mortgages written in the last 10 years.”

“And by eMortgage, we mean truly paperless not some hybrid of some paper and some electronic documentation,” Gardener said. “Ten years ago, we were saying mainstream eMortgage documentation was three to five years away, and I’m happy to say that mainstream eMortgage documentation is now three to five years away.”

continue reading….  Housing Wire

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eMortgages, eNotes …Get Ready For The No-DOC Zone

eMortgages, eNotes …Get Ready For The No-DOC Zone


For you to understand the plan the financial institutions have you need to grasp the following. Will MERS patterns continue? Imagine the price you will pay when these files are hacked or manipulated.

Everyone knows by now that MERS was ‘invented’ to keep costs low for the banks, reduce the risk of record-keeping errors and make it easier to keep track of loans for the banks not the borrowers. By these actions, not only has MERS eliminated crucial chain in title documents, has proven in many court cases to assign absolutely nothing because it had no power to negotiate the note but also eliminated an enormous amount of county revenues.

Last week SFF wrote about the latest invention planned to coexist with MERS called SmartSAFE, which will be used for creating, signing, storing, accessing and managing the lifecycle of electronic mortgage documents. According to Wave’s eSignSystems Executive VP Kelly Purcell, “Mortgages are sold several times throughout the life of a loan, and electronic mortgages address the problem of the ‘lost note,’ while improving efficiency in the process.”

This goes a step forward of what MERS can do today.

Will this process eliminate recording paper mortgages/deeds from county records? Eliminate fees that counties in trouble desperately need? THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS.

Still with me? Finally, according to CUinsight, a sample eNote in the form of a MRG Category 1 classified SMARTDoc, was successfully delivered to Xerox’s BlitzDocs eVault, a virtual repository that connects directly to the MERS® eRegistry and eDelivery systems, where it was electronically signed and registered.

Adding the finishing touches to permit MERS access to future eNotes? I say this is the master plan.

Looking forward to what MA John O’Brien, the Essex County register of deeds, NC Register of deeds Jeff Thigpen and NY Suffolk County, former county clerk Ed Romaine’s approach is after they read what they plan on doing to land records. If they thought it was limited to the elimination of recording fees for assignments of mortgage, they are mistaken.

Questions remain as to why replace something that has been working for so long? Why continue with MERS, a system which has failed in many ways? MERS is under investigation for fraud is it not? Why in a time where mortgage fraud is wide spread, will anyone even trust using electronic devices to manage possibly future trillions of dollars worth?

Say farewell to a tradition that has been here for well over 300 years. Eliminating ‘paper’ will put promissory notes and  mortgage related documents in great jeopardy. No computer system in the world is secure [PERIOD].

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LQQK ‘MOM’, No paper, Lost Paper, Detroyed and Misfiled Paper…The Next Wave

LQQK ‘MOM’, No paper, Lost Paper, Detroyed and Misfiled Paper…The Next Wave


Before you go down to the “New Device” take a look back when THE FLORIDA BANKER’S ASSOCIATION ADMITTED THAT NOTES ARE DESTROYED:

This is a direct quote from the Florida Banker’s Association Comments to the Supreme Court of Florida files September 30, 2009:

“It is a reality of commerce that virtually all paper documents related to a note and mortgage are converted to electronic files almost immediately after the loan is closed. Individual loans, as electronic data, are compiled into portfolios which are transferred to the secondary market, frequently as mortgage-backed securities.

The reason “many firms file lost note counts as a standard alternative pleading in the complaint” is because the physical document was deliberately eliminated to avoid confusion immediately upon its conversion to an electronic file. See State Street Bank and Trust Company v. Lord, 851 So. 2d 790 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003). Electronic storage is almost universally acknowledged as safer, more efficient and less expensive than maintaining the originals in hard copy, which bears the concomitant costs of physical indexing, archiving and maintaining security. It is a standard in the industry and becoming the benchmark of modern efficiency across the spectrum of commerce—including the court system.”

Now if there is no issues surrounding what everyone is shouting from their roof tops, then why integrate a new software that was suppose to have been implemented already to “Improves Efficiency & Transparency of Electronic Mortgage Transactions” within MERS itself?

THEY KNOW THEY HAVE A PROBLEM!

Now from SYS-CON on SmartSAFE

“During the foreclosure crisis of the last few years we saw many instances where the original and subsequent paperwork was lost, destroyed or misfiled when loans were bought and sold,” commented Kelly Purcell, Executive Vice President for Wave’s eSignSystems division. “Mortgages are sold several times throughout the life of a loan, and electronic mortgages address the problem of the ‘lost note,’ while improving efficiency in the process.”

This will debut during next week’s MBA National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference and Expo 2011 (at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.).

Will this be the new system that will eventually take over MERS as MOM?

This one is both “Smart & Safe” <wink>


 

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MUST READ | VERMONT BK COURT DENIES SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION OF U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION In Re: PARKER

MUST READ | VERMONT BK COURT DENIES SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION OF U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION In Re: PARKER


In re: Barry Alton Parker, Chapter 13, Debtor.

Barry Alton Parker, Plaintiff,

v.

U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee on behalf of the Holder of the Adjustable Rate Mortgage Trust 2007-1, et al. Defendants.

Case No. 09-10186, Adversary Proceeding No. 09-1022.

United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Vermont.

March 18, 2011.

Rebecca A. Rice, Esq., Cohen & Rice Rutland, VT For Barry Alton Parker.
Douglas J. Wolinsky, Esq., Kevin Michael Henry, Esq., Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC, Burlington, VT For U.S. Bank National Association

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
DENYING SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION OF U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

COLLEEN A. BROWN, Bankruptcy Judge

Barry Alton Parker (the “Debtor”) filed a complaint (doc. # 1) to initiate this adversary proceeding on May 18, 2009. On August 27, 2009, U.S. Bank National Association (the “Bank”) filed its answer (doc. # 3). The Bank filed the instant motion for summary judgment on December 15, 2010 (doc. ## 49, 50, 51), seeking dismissal of the Debtor’s claim that the Bank lacks standing to enforce the mortgage note against the Debtor. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies the Bank’s motion.

JURISDICTION
This Court has jurisdiction over this adversary proceeding and the Bank’s motion for summary judgment under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334 and 157(b)(2)(B).

UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS
Based upon the record in this proceeding, the Court finds the following facts to be material and undisputed:

1. On November 10, 2006, the Debtor executed and delivered to Credit Suisse Financial Corporation (“Credit Suisse”) two promissory notes; the note at issue was made in the original amount of $231,200 (the “Note”) (doc. # 40, ¶ 1; doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 1).
2. Also on November 10, 2006, the Debtor executed a mortgage deed in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (“MERS”) as nominee for Credit Suisse, as security for the Note (doc. # 40, ¶ 2; doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 2).
3. The Note was subsequently endorsed in blank by Patrick Brown, Post Closing-Manager for Lydian Data Services, as Attorney-in-Fact for Credit Suisse (doc. # 40, ¶ 7; doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 3).
4. After the Note was endorsed, it was transferred to the Bank, and the Bank is in possession of the original Note (doc. # 40, ¶ 8; doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 6-7).
5. The original Note was received by counsel for the Bank from the Bank with the allonge attached by a staple, and the Note was provided to counsel for the Debtor for review in the same condition (doc. # 51, ¶ 7; doc. # 56).
6. On December 11, 2008, MERS assigned the mortgage to the Bank (doc. # 40, ¶ 9; doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 8; doc. # 51, ¶ 6; doc. # 56).
7. The assignment of mortgage was executed by Bill Koch, acting in the capacity of an officer of MERS, pursuant to a Corporate Resolution dated July 11, 2002 (doc. # 51, ¶ 6; doc. # 56).
8. On December 19, 2008, the Bank filed a foreclosure complaint against the Debtor in Vermont state court (doc. # 40, ¶ 10).
9. On February 25, 2009, the Debtor filed his bankruptcy petition (doc. # 40, ¶ 11).
10. At the time the Debtor filed his petition, no judgment had been entered in the state court action (doc. # 40, ¶ 12).
11. The Bank is trustee to the Adjustable Rate Mortgage Trust 2007-1, Adjustable Rate Mortgage-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-1 (the “Trust”) (doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 4).
12. The Trust is governed by a Pooling and Servicing Agreement dated February 1, 2007 (doc. # 40, ¶
13; doc. # 45, Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 5).
13. On April 13, 2009, the Bank filed a proof of claim in the Debtor’s bankruptcy case, based upon the Note (doc. # 40, ¶ 14).
14. The Note attached to the proof of claim was endorsed by an allonge in blank, even though there was room on the original Note to endorse it, and no original of the Note has been produced (doc. # 40, ¶ 15).
15. Although the allonge was signed by Patrick Brown, post-closing manager for Lydian Data Services, as Attorney-in-Fact for Credit Suisse, no power of attorney is attached to the proof of claim (doc. # 40, ¶ 16).
16. The Bank did not file an assignment of mortgage with its proof of claim (doc. # 40, ¶ 17).
17. On May 28, 2009, the Debtor filed his complaint in this adversary proceeding (doc. # 40, ¶ 18).
18. On December 14, 2010, Credit Suisse ratified the endorsement of Patrick Brown, Post Closing-Manager for Lydian Data Services, as Attorney-in-Fact for Credit Suisse; the Debtor contests the effectiveness of the ratification (doc. # 51, ¶ 8; doc. # 56).

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper if the record shows no genuine issue as to any material fact such that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7056; see also Bronx Household of Faith v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of New York, 492 F.3d 89, 96 (2d Cir. 2007). The moving party bears the burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists. See Vermont Teddy Bear Co. v. 1-800 Beargram Co., 373 F.3d 241, 244 (2d Cir. 2004). A genuine issue exists only when “the evidence is such that a reasonable [trier of fact] could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). The substantive law identifies those facts that are material; only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary are not material. Id. In making its determination, the court’s sole function is to determine whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a trial. Id. at 249; see also Palmieri v. Lynch, 392 F.3d 73, 82 (2d Cir. 2004). In determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, a court must resolve all ambiguities, and draw all inferences, against the moving party. See Beth Israel Med. Ctr. v. Horizon Blue Cross & Blue Shield of New Jersey, Inc., 448 F.3d 573, 579 (2d Cir 2006). If the nonmoving party does not come forward with specific facts to establish an essential element of that party’s claim on which it has the burden of proof at trial, the moving party is entitled to summary judgment. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-25 (“One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses . . . the burden on the moving party may be discharged by `showing’ — that is, pointing out to the district court — that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case”); see also Tufariello v. Long Island R. Co., 458 F.3d 80, 85 (2d Cir. 2006).

DISCUSSION

In his complaint, the Debtor objects to the Bank’s proof of claim “on the basis of standing” (doc. # 1, ¶ 27). The Bank’s position is that this argument fails as a matter of law because the Bank is the holder of the Note and the assignee of the mortgage (doc. # 50, p. 4).
Bankruptcy law does not specify the requirements for the enforcement of promissory notes. As a result, the legal obligations of parties disputing the validity of a promissory note are determined by applicable non-bankruptcy law, which is usually state law. See Butner v. United States 440 U.S. 48, 54-55 (1979).
Vermont has adopted a version of the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) concerning negotiable instruments that applies to promissory notes. The relevant provision of Article 3, 9A V.S.A. § 3-101, et seq., describes a “[p]erson entitled to enforce” an instrument, in relevant part, as “(i) the holder of the instrument.” 9A V.S.A. § 3-301. The general definitions section of Vermont’s UCC defines a “holder,” in relevant part, as “(A) the person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession.” 9A V.S.A. § 1-201(21)(A). The section pertaining to unauthorized signatures provides, in relevant part, that:
(a) Unless otherwise provided in this article or article 4, an unauthorized signature is ineffective except as the signature of the unauthorized signer in favor of a person who in good faith pays the instrument or takes it for value. An unauthorized signature may be ratified for all purposes of this article.
9A V.SA. § 3-403(a).
It is undisputed that the Bank is in possession of the original Note (see Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 4, supra). At issue is whether the endorsement is valid, whether the Note is payable to the Bank as bearer, and thus whether the Bank is a holder under the Vermont UCC entitled to enforce the Note. The Debtor originally executed the Note in favor of Credit Suisse (see Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 1, supra); the Note was subsequently endorsed by an allonge in blank by Patrick Brown, Post Closing-Manager for Lydian Data Services as Attorney-in-Fact for Credit Suisse (see Undisputed Material Facts ¶¶ 3, 14, supra). The Bank did not attach to its proof of claim a copy of the power of attorney authorizing Mr. Brown to endorse the Note (see Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 15, supra), and that power of attorney is not part of the record in this adversary proceeding. On December 14, 2010, nearly twenty-two months after the Debtor filed his bankruptcy petition, Credit Suisse ratified the endorsement of Patrick Brown (see Undisputed Material Facts ¶¶ 9, 18, supra
The Debtor argues that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Mr. Brown was authorized to sign on behalf of Credit Suisse at the time the allonge was endorsed; the Debtor also contests the effectiveness of the ratification to cure the defective endorsement. There is no evidence in the record that Mr. Brown was authorized to sign on behalf of Credit Suisse at the time the allonge was endorsed. However, on December 14, 2010, Credit Suisse expressly ratified Mr. Brown’s endorsement. See Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 18, supra; see also doc. # 51-3 (“Credit Suisse . . . ratifies and approves the indorsement of the Note by Patrick Brown, post Closing Manager for Lydian Data Services as the attorney-in-fact for Credit Suisse”). The leading commercial law treatises shed light on the issue of the effectiveness of ratification. An unauthorized signature may be ratified expressly, thus binding the ratifying principal. See 2 White & Summers, Uniform Commercial Code § 16-4 (5th ed. 2010). A signature by an agent in excess of his or her authority may be ratified. See 4 Hawkland UCC Series § 34-04:2 (2010). Once a signature is ratified, it becomes effective as if authorized at the time made. See id; see also 9A V.S.A. § 3-403, Official Comment 3 (“[r]atification is a retroactive adoption of the unauthorized signature . . .”) (emphasis added). Thus, the Court finds that upon ratification by Credit Suisse, the endorsement by Mr. Brown became effective as if it had been authorized at the time made.
This raises the question of when the allonge was endorsed, as the allonge endorsed by Mr. Brown is not dated. The Bank argues that the timing of the endorsement is immaterial to the question of whether the Bank is the holder of the Note because regardless of when the Note was endorsed, it is now endorsed and in the Bank’s possession. See In re Wilson, 442 B.R. 10, 15, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 4252, * 9-11 (Bankr. D. Mass. Nov. 29, 2010). However, under relevant Vermont jurisprudence pertaining to foreclosure actions, “[i]n order to enforce a mortgage note, a plaintiff must show that it was the holder of the note at the time the Complaint was filed.U.S. Bank Nat’l Assoc. as Trustee for RASC 2005 AHL1 v. Kimball, No. 6-1-09 Gicv (Vt. Super. Ct. Oct. 27, 2009) (Joseph, J.) (on appeal) (citing In re Gilpin, No. 09-10696 (Bankr. D. Vt. Oct. 7, 2009)) (emphasis added); see also In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp.2d 650, 653 (S.D. Ohio 2007) (“[t]o show standing . . . the plaintiff must show that it is the holder of the note and the mortgage at the time the complaint was filed”); In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008), reversed on other grounds, 438 B.R. 661 (C.D. Cal. 2010); U.S. Bank Nat’l Assoc. v. White, 880 N.Y.S.2d 227 (Table), 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 50100(U) (N.Y. Super. Ct. Jan. 23, 2009). Another recent Vermont case addressed the “propositions that a party must have standing at the outset of litigation, and that a defect in standing at that time cannot be cured,” Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Parisella, No. S0758-09, 2010 Vt. Super. LEXIS 59, *5 (Vt. Super. Ct. Oct. 25, 2010) (Toor, J.). There, the state court took great pains to thoroughly articulate the requirements of both constitutional and prudential standing, and concluded that “a plaintiff seeking foreclosure lacks standing unless it can show it was entitled to enforce the mortgage at the time it filed its complaint for foreclosure.” Id. at *6-10. Notably, the Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure governing foreclosure proceedings likewise imposes this requirement:
The plaintiff shall attach to the complaint copies of the original note and mortgage deed and proof of ownership thereof, including copies of all original endorsements and assignments of the note and mortgage deed. The plaintiff shall plead in its complaint that the originals are in the possession and control of the plaintiff or that the plaintiff is otherwise entitled to enforce the mortgage note pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code.
Vt. R. Civ. P. 80.1(b)(1).
Here, the document the creditor has filed to enforce its rights is a proof of claim, rather than a complaint or motion, and the seminal date for analysis and allowance of a proof of claim, including the question of standing, is the date the bankruptcy case was commenced. See Official Form 10. Therefore, the critical inquiry is whether the Bank was the holder of the Note as of the date of Debtor’s bankruptcy filing. Since the date the Note was endorsed is a material fact essential to the determination of whether the Bank is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and since the record of undisputed material facts does not include any information about the date of the endorsement, the Court cannot adjudicate this issue on summary judgment.1

CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, the Bank’s motion for summary judgment is denied. Unless the parties present undisputed evidence showing the date the allonge was executed, the Court will set a trial date to determine whether the Bank had standing to file the proof of claim.

This memorandum of decision constitutes the Court’s findings of facts and conclusions of law.

March 18, 2011…………………………… Colleen A. Brown
Burlington, Vermont……………………. United States Bankruptcy Judge

1 As the Court has denied the Bank’s second motion for summary judgment on the basis that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the date of the endorsement, there is no need for the Court to consider the Debtor’s additional arguments in opposition to the motion.
[ipaper docId=51232343 access_key=key-1qszqixnym27xql2rbs5 height=600 width=600 /]
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BOMBSHELL | Affidavit of Professor Ira Mark Bloom for U.S. Bank v. Congress

BOMBSHELL | Affidavit of Professor Ira Mark Bloom for U.S. Bank v. Congress


Affidavit of Professor Ira Mark Bloom for U.S. Bank v. Congress

A Must Read…

[ipaper docId=50548037 access_key=key-25qgb0tuzzditckbm77s height=600 width=600 /]

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OHIO JUDGMENT REVERSED FULL Payoff Rejected, Broken Entry (2), FDIC, as Receiver of WAMU v. TRAVERSARI

OHIO JUDGMENT REVERSED FULL Payoff Rejected, Broken Entry (2), FDIC, as Receiver of WAMU v. TRAVERSARI


Don’t you just love it when links and posts go missing for absolutely NO reason whatsoever!

REPOST-

Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp., as Receiver of WAMU v. TRAVERSARI, 2010 Ohio 2406 – Ohio: Court of Appeals, 11th Dist., Geauga 2010
dinsfla | June 5, 2010 at 9:49 am |

2010-Ohio-2406

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver of Washington Mutual Bank, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Robert Traversari, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
No. 2008-G-2859.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Geauga County.

May 28, 2010.

Karen L. Giffen and Kathleen A. Nitschke, Giffen & Kaminski, L.L.C., 1300 East Ninth Street, #1600, Cleveland, OH 44114 and Donald Swartz, Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss, P.O. Box 580, Cincinnati, OH 45210-5480 (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

Edward T. Brice, Newman & Brice, L.P.A., 214 East Park Street, Chardon, OH 44024 (For Defendants-Appellants).

OPINION
COLLEEN MARY O’TOOLE, J.

{¶1} Appellants, Robert Traversari (“Traversari”) and B & B Partners (“B & B”), appeal from the August 5, 2008 judgment entry of the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, granting summary judgment in favor of appellee, Washington Mutual Bank, and entitling appellee to a judgment and decree in foreclosure.

{¶2} In 1994, appellant Traversari borrowed $190,000 from Loan America Financial Corporation which was memorialized by a promissory note and further secured by a mortgage on property located at 9050 Lake-in-the-Woods Trail, Bainbridge Township, Geauga County, Ohio. Appellant Traversari obtained the loan individually and/or in his capacity as the sole member and principal of appellant B & B, a real estate based company. The mortgage at issue was subsequently assigned to appellee.

{¶3} On January 8, 2007, appellee filed a complaint in foreclosure against appellants and defendants, JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Charter One Bank, N.A., Jesse Doe, and Geauga County Treasurer. In count one of its complaint, appellee alleges that it is the holder and owner of a note in which appellant Traversari owes $149,919.96 plus interest at the rate of 7.75 percent per year from September 1, 2006, plus costs. In count two of its complaint, appellee alleges that it is the holder of a mortgage, given to secure payment of the note, which constitutes a valid first lien upon the real estate at issue. Appellee maintains that because the conditions of defeasance have been broken, it is entitled to have the mortgage foreclosed. Appellee indicated that appellant B & B may have claimed an interest in the property by virtue of being a current titleholder.

{¶4} Appellants filed an answer and counterclaim on February 16, 2007. In their defense, appellants maintain that appellee failed to comply with Civ.R. 10(D) and is estopped from asserting a foreclosure by its waiver of accepting payment. According to their counterclaim, appellants allege the following: on or about September 25, 2006, appellant Traversari sent a check in the amount of $150,889.96 to appellee for payment in full on the loan, which included the principal of $149.919.96 plus $970 of interest; on or about November 17, 2006, appellee issued a new home loan statement to appellant Traversari indicating the amount due was $5,608.95; appellant Traversari contacted appellee stating that a check had been sent for payment in full; appellee failed to respond; appellant Traversari mailed a check to appellee in the amount of $155,000; no stop payment was issued on the first check; because the house was vacant, appellant Traversari went to check the residence on December 26, 2006, and discovered that it had been broken into; an orange placard was placed on the premises indicating that a representative from appellee would secure the home; appellant Traversari immediately purchased new lock sets, secured the premises, and called and left a message for appellee to inform them to not enter the home; on December 31, 2006, electronic transmission was sent to appellee concerning the break-in and requested appellee to stop breaking into the home as well as to locate the two checks and to send a copy of a letter to a credit bureau; appellee did not respond; appellant Traversari then mailed a check from a separate account in the amount of the last payment demanded by appellee; appellee sent the $155,000 check back with a form letter to the address of the vacant property stating that personal checks were not accepted for payoff; appellee also rejected the $5,674.41 check; appellant Traversari then contacted appellee regarding the rejected checks; on January 11, 2007, appellant Traversari went to the home again, finding the kitchen door open, furnace running, new lock set taken out, garage door openers unplugged, and worse dings in the steel door; and appellant Traversari emailed appellee again, however, appellee indicated it could not give appellants any information because the case had been moved to foreclosure.

{¶5} Appellee filed a reply to appellants’ counterclaim on March 19, 2007, and an amended reply on September 6, 2007.

{¶6} According to the deposition of Maritza Torres (“Torres”), an employee of appellee in its senior asset recovery, loss prevention department, she was assigned to appellants’ case. Torres testified that appellee has no record of having received a check in the amount of $150,889.96 from appellant Traversari on September 25, 2006. However, she indicated that appellee received a check from appellant Traversari on September 30, 2006, in the amount of $102,538.74 (“Check #1?), which was returned to him due to appellee’s policy not to accept checks for early payoffs that are not certified funds.

{¶7} According to the deposition of Linda Rae Traversari (“Linda”), appellant Traversari’s wife, she is the handler of the family assets. Following the return of Check #1, appellee forwarded a delinquency letter to appellant Traversari in early November of 2006. Later that month, appellee sent a second default letter to him. Linda testified that on or around November 30, 2006, appellant Traversari sent another personal check for early payoff to appellee in the amount of $155,000 (“Check #2?). Appellee returned Check #2 with a letter explaining that noncertified funds are not accepted for early payoff. Linda stated that on January 2, 2007, appellant Traversari sent a third personal check via certified mail to appellee in the amount of $5,674.41 (“Check #3?). By the time appellee received Check #3, the loan had been referred to foreclosure. Check #3 was returned to appellant Traversari as “insufficient.”

{¶8} On March 14, 2008, appellee filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 56(b). Appellants filed a response on April 21, 2008.

{¶9} In its July 3, 2008 order, the trial court found, inter alia, that appellee was within its legal rights to reject the personal checks; appellee had the right to institute and maintain the foreclosure because appellants did not cure their default; and appellee had the right to enter the premises. Thus, the trial court indicated that appellee’s motion for summary judgment would be granted in its favor as to all issues and claims against appellants upon appellee’s presentation of an appropriate entry to be provided to the court.

{¶10} Appellee filed a “Motion For Submission Of Its Entry Granting Motion For Summary Judgment And Decree In Foreclosure” on July 11, 2008, and an amended entry on July 21, 2008. Appellants filed objections to appellee’s proposed amended entry the following day.

{¶11} Pursuant to its August 5, 2008 “Amended Entry Granting Summary Judgment And Decree In Foreclosure,” the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of appellee, entitling appellee to a judgment and decree in foreclosure. The trial court ordered, inter alia, that unless the sums found due to appellee are fully paid within 3 days from the date of the decree, the equity of redemption shall be foreclosed, the property sold, and an order of sale issued to the Sheriff directing him to appraise, advertise, and sell the property. The trial court further ordered that the proceeds of the sale follow the following order of priority: (1) to the Clerk of Courts, the costs of the action, including the fees of appraisers; (2) to the County Treasurer, the taxes and assessments, due and payable as of the date of transfer of the property after Sheriff’s Sale; (3) to appellee, the sum of $149,919.96, with interest at the rate of 7.75 percent per annum from September 1, 2006 to February 29, 2008, and 7.25 percent per annum from March 1, 2008 to present, together with advances for taxes, insurance, and costs; and (4) the balance of the sale proceeds, if any, shall be paid by the Sheriff to the Clerk of Court to await further orders. It is from that judgment that appellants filed the instant appeal, raising the following assignment of error for our review:

{¶12} “THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF DEFENDANTSA-PPELLANTS IN ITS ORDER GRANTING IN PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE’S FAVOR AS TO ALL ISSUES AND CLAIMS AND AGAINST DEFENDANTS, AND ITS AMENDED ENTRY GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DECREE IN FORECLOSURE TO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE AGAINST DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.”

{¶13} In their sole assignment of error, appellants argue that the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of appellee, and entitling appellee to a judgment and decree in foreclosure.

{¶14} “This court reviews de novo a trial court’s order granting summary judgment.” Hudspath v. Cafaro Co., 11th Dist. No. 2004-A-0073, 2005-Ohio-6911, at ¶8, citing Hapgood v. Conrad, 11th Dist. No. 2000-T-0058, 2002-Ohio-3363, at ¶13. “`A reviewing court will apply the same standard a trial court is required to apply, which is to determine whether any genuine issues of material fact exist and whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.’” Id.

{¶15} “Since summary judgment denies the party his or her `day in court’ it is not to be viewed lightly as docket control or as a `little trial.’ The jurisprudence of summary judgment standards has placed burdens on both the moving and the nonmoving party. In Dresher v. Burt [(1996), 75 Ohio St.3d 280, 296,] the Supreme Court of Ohio held that the moving party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the trial court of the basis for the motion and identifying those portions of the record before the trial court that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of fact on a material element of the nonmoving party’s claim. The evidence must be in the record or the motion cannot succeed. The moving party cannot discharge its initial burden under Civ.R. 56 simply by making a conclusory assertion that the nonmoving party has no evidence to prove its case but must be able to specifically point to some evidence of the type listed in Civ.R. 56(C) that affirmatively demonstrates that the nonmoving party has no evidence to support the nonmoving party’s claims. If the moving party fails to satisfy its initial burden, the motion for summary judgment must be denied. If the moving party has satisfied its initial burden, the nonmoving party has a reciprocal burden outlined in the last sentence of Civ.R. 56(E) to set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial. If the nonmoving party fails to do so, summary judgment, if appropriate shall be entered against the nonmoving party based on the principles that have been firmly established in Ohio for quite some time in Mitseff v. Wheeler (1988), 38 Ohio St.3d 112 ***.” Welch v. Ziccarelli, 11th Dist. No. 2006-L-229, 2007-Ohio-4374, at ¶40.

{¶16} “The court in Dresher went on to say that paragraph three of the syllabus in Wing v. Anchor Media, Ltd. of Texas (1991), 59 Ohio St.3d 108 ***, is too broad and fails to account for the burden Civ.R. 56 places upon a moving party. The court, therefore, limited paragraph three of the syllabus in Wing to bring it into conformity with Mitseff. (Emphasis added.)” Id. at ¶41.

{¶17} “The Supreme Court in Dresher went on to hold that when neither the moving nor nonmoving party provides evidentiary materials demonstrating that there are no material facts in dispute, the moving party is not entitled a judgment as a matter of law as the moving party bears the initial responsibility of informing the trial court of the basis for the motion, `and identifying those portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of fact on a material element of the nonmoving party’s claim.’ Id. at 276. (Emphasis added.)” Id. at ¶42.

{¶18} In the case at bar, the record establishes that appellant Traversari sent personal checks to appellee for payment on the loan at issue. However, appellee returned the checks with letters indicating they would not be accepted as payment because they were not certified, and foreclosure proceedings commenced.

{¶19} There is no genuine issue of material fact that appellants executed and delivered a note and mortgage to appellee. However, a genuine issue of material fact does exist with regard to the fact that appellant Traversari tendered the entire principal payment and appellee rejected it because the payment was made by personal check. See Chase Home Fin., LLC v. Smith, 11th Dist. No. 2007-P-0097, 2008-Ohio-5451, at ¶19. The dates and amounts of the personal checks are conflicting due to the testimony and/or evidence submitted by the parties.

{¶20} “A cause of action exists on behalf of a damaged mortgagor when, in conformity with the terms of his note, he offers to the mortgagee full payment of the balance of the principal and interest, and the mortgagee refuses to present the note and mortgage for payment and cancellation.” Cotofan v. Steiner (1959), 170 Ohio St. 163, paragraph one of the syllabus.

{¶21} Appellant Traversari did not place any conditions on the personal checks tendered to appellee. We note that “[t]he essential characteristics of a tender are an unconditional offer to perform, coupled with ability to carry out the offer and production of the subject matter of the tender.” Walton Commercial Enterprises, Inc. v. Assns. Conventions, Tradeshows, Inc. (June 11, 1992), 10th Dist. No. 91AP-1458, 1992 Ohio App. LEXIS 3081, at 5. (Emphasis sic.)

{¶22} “It is an implied condition of every contract that one party will not prevent or impede performance by the other. If he does prevent or impede performance, whether by his prior breach or other conduct, he may not then insist on performance by the affected party, and he cannot maintain an action for nonperformance if the promises are interdependent.” Fed. Natl. Mtge. Assns. v. Banks (Feb. 20, 1990), 2d Dist. No. 11667, 1990 Ohio App. LEXIS 638, at 8-9, citing 17 American Jurisprudence 2d, Contracts, Sections 425, 426.

{¶23} In the instant matter, paragraph 3 of the Open-End Mortgage provides:

{¶24} “3. Application of Payments. Unless applicable law provides otherwise, all payments received by Lender under paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be applied: first, to any prepayment charges due under the Note; second, to amounts payable under paragraph 2; third; to interest due; fourth, to principal due; and last, to any late charges due under the Note.”

{¶25} Here, there was no new note and mortgage, nor agreement for application of payments, when the mortgage at issue was subsequently assigned from Loan America Financial Corporation to appellee. Rather, it was the policy of appellee to require mortgagors to pay by certified check for any amounts over $5,000. According to appellee’s employee, Torres, she indicated that any amount over $5,000 not paid by certified funds puts the company at risk because it can take anywhere between 7 to 10 days for a personal check to clear. We note, however, that the mortgagee has up to 90 days to verify the sufficiency of the underlying funds before satisfying and releasing its recorded mortgage. R.C. 5301.36(B). In the instant case, it would have been reasonable for appellee to have either waited 7 to 10 days for appellant Traversari’s checks to clear or to have inquired with his bank, see, generally, Hunter Sav. Assn. v. Kasper (Sept. 25, 1979), 10th Dist. No. 78AP-774, 1979 Ohio App. LEXIS 11777, at 13, if there were sufficient funds before returning any of his 3 personal checks and commencing foreclosure proceedings.

{¶26} The lender in this case unilaterally refused the debtor’s payment by check due to itsinternal policy that an amount over $5,000 had to be made by certified check. The terms and conditions of the mortgage, however, do not impose such a requirement. Under paragraph 3 of the Open-End Mortgage, it appears the lender had an obligation to apply the payment tendered, by personal check or otherwise. Its refusal to present the check for clearance and apply the payment on the ground of internal policy appears to have violated the debtor’s rights.

{¶27} Construing the evidence submitted most strongly in favor of appellants, we must conclude that genuine issues of material fact remain. Again, a genuine issue of material fact exists with regard to the fact that appellant Traversari tendered the entire principal payment and appellee rejected it because the payment was made by personal check. Also, the dates and amounts of the personal checks are conflicting due to the testimony and/or evidence submitted by the parties. Thus, the trial court erred by granting appellee’s motion for summary judgment.

{¶28} For the foregoing reasons, appellants’ sole assignment of error is well-taken. The judgment of the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas is reversed and the matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. It is ordered that appellee is assessed costs herein taxed. The court finds there were reasonable grounds for this appeal.

Trapp, P.J., Rice, J., concur.

Defendants are not named parties to the instant appeal.

The matter was stayed. On November 26, 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was substituted for appellee Washington Mutual Bank. This court instructed the Clerk of Courts to correct the docket by removing “Washington Mutual Bank” and substituting “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver of Washington Mutual Bank” as appellee in this appeal. The stay order automatically dissolved on August 29, 2009.

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Bill SB 5275 in WA Legislature to Eliminate “Produce the Note” Foreclosure Protection

Bill SB 5275 in WA Legislature to Eliminate “Produce the Note” Foreclosure Protection


Updated March 4, 2011

I was contacted by a woman in Washington informing us that we were off the mark with this post. The way we posted fell a bit short and was slightly off the mark. It seems this bill was already voted through. Here’s the update and correction to this piece:

The “declaration” portion of this foreclosure bill trying to pass in the Washington State legislature is already law. This is what we, in Washington, are currently fighting. The bill, SB 5275, is a so-so bill with this “declaration” embedded in it. What the law (with its current language) does is bring the parties to the mediation table. This mediation process gives the homeowner an additional 90 days. What it DOESN’T do, is bring the CORRECT parties to the mediation table, as the banks can still hide behind this “declaration” in claiming ownership of the note, by putting a robo-signed pen-to-paper.

There are people in Washington, who are fighting within the legislature to get an amendment proposed. They are trying to get language similar to Arizona’s SB 1259, allowing only for a “clear chain of title” to prove ownership of the note. What a “clear chain of title” will do, it will bring the CORRECT PARTIES TO THE MEDIATION TABLE.

All you Washingtonians, please write your Senators and your Representatives asking for this amendment bringing a “clear chain of title” to this bill, SB 5275. If we can get this amendment to the floor of the House, we may still have a chance in Washington to bring the banks to their knees, as we all know they are unable to provide a “clear chain of title.”

Also ask your legislator to think about NEXT legislative session to put an end to the RCW 61.24.030 (7)(a), which states that the servicer only need provide a “declaration” to reside with the trustee to prove ownership of the note. The servicers are able to robo-sign these declarations and not have to provide any more proof of ownership of the note. THIS IS WHAT IS REALLY BAD LAW. The legislators need to know that what they did LAST session, has made Washington the worst state in the nation to try to fight these criminal servicers.

Thank you to Richard Zombeck @ ShameTheBanks.org for his help on clarifying this update for us. Don’t be silent… share your thoughts and story with ShameThe Banks. Together we can and are making a difference.

Original Post below..

This bill (SB 5275) is scheduled for a hearing today (scroll down for details). It must be stopped. We cannot allow the banks to take what they don’t own. Please call and/or email these senators (AND reps regarding the companion bill HB 1362) to politely but firmly express your opposition to giving the banks a freebie. Remind these people who they work for (US, not the banks). –Scott

Senate Bill Co-sponsors list:
maralyn.chase@leg.wa.gov; steve.conway@leg.wa.gov; karen.fraser@leg.wa.gov; jim.hargrove@leg.wa.gov; nick.harper@leg.wa.gov; marymargaret.haugen@leg.wa.gov; steve.hobbs@leg.wa.gov; karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov; derek.kilmer@leg.wa.gov; adam.kline@leg.wa.gov; jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov; rosemary.mcauliffe@leg.wa.gov; edward.murray@leg.wa.gov; sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov; margarita.prentice@leg.wa.gov; kevin.ranker@leg.wa.gov; phil.rockefeller@leg.wa.gov; paull.shin@leg.wa.gov; dan.swecker@leg.wa.gov; scott.white@leg.wa.gov;

Full Senate list:
Michael.baumgartner@leg.wa.gov; randi.becker@leg.wa.gov; don.benton@leg.wa.gov; jean.berkey@leg.wa.gov; lisa.brown@leg.wa.gov; michael.carrell@leg.wa.gov; jerome.delvin@leg.wa.gov; maralyn.chase@leg.wa.gov; steve.conway@leg.wa.gov; jerome.delvin@leg.wa.gov; tracey.eide@leg.wa.gov; doug.ericksen@leg.wa.gov; joe.fain@leg.wa.gov; karen.fraser@leg.wa.gov; jim.hargrove@leg.wa.gov; nick.harper@leg.wa.gov; brian.hatfield@leg.wa.gov; marymargaret.haugen@leg.wa.gov; mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov; andy.hill@leg.wa.gov; steve.hobbs@leg.wa.gov; janea.holmquist@leg.wa.gov; jim.honeyford@leg.wa.gov; jim.kastama@leg.wa.gov; karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov; derek.kilmer@leg.wa.gov; curtis.king@leg.wa.gov; adam.kline@leg.wa.gov; jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov; steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov; rosemary.mcauliffe@leg.wa.gov; bob.mccaslin@leg.wa.gov; bob.morton@leg.wa.gov; edward.murray@leg.wa.gov; sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov; linda.parlette@leg.wa.gov; cheryl.pflug@leg.wa.gov; margarita.prentice@leg.wa.gov; craig.pridemore@leg.wa.gov; kevin.ranker@leg.wa.gov; debbie.regala@leg.wa.gov; pam.roach@leg.wa.gov; phil.rockefeller@leg.wa.gov; mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov; timothy.sheldon@leg.wa.gov; paull.shin@leg.wa.gov; val.stevens@leg.wa.gov; dan.swecker@leg.wa.gov; rodney.tom@leg.wa.gov; scott.white@leg.wa.gov; joseph.zarelli@leg.wa.gov; marty.brown@gov.wa.gov; jim.justin@gov.wa.gov;

House List:
john.ahern@leg.wa.gov; gary.alexander@leg.wa.gov; glenn.anderson@leg.wa.gov; jan.angel@leg.wa.gov; sherry.appleton@leg.wa.gov; mike.armstrong@leg.wa.gov; katrina.asay@leg.wa.gov; barbara.bailey@leg.wa.gov; andy.billig@leg.wa.gov; brian.blake@leg.wa.gov; vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov; reuven.Carlyle@leg.wa.gov; bruce.chandler@leg.wa.gov; frank.chopp@leg.wa.gov; judy.clibborn@leg.wa.gov; eileen.cody@leg.wa.gov; cary.condotta@leg.wa.gov; larry.crouse@leg.wa.gov; cathy.dahlquist@leg.wa.gov; bruce.dammeier@leg.wa.gov; j.darneille@leg.wa.gov; richard.debolt@leg.wa.gov; marylou.dickerson@leg.wa.gov; hans.dunshee@leg.wa.gov; deborah.eddy@leg.wa.gov; susan.fagan@leg.wa.gov; fred.finn@leg.wa.gov; david.frockt@leg.wa.gov; roger.goodman@leg.wa.gov; tami.green@leg.wa.gov; kathy.haigh@leg.wa.gov; larry.haler@leg.wa.gov; mark.hargrove@leg.wa.gov; paul.harris@leg.wa.gov; bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov; bill.hinkle@leg.wa.gov; mike.hope@leg.wa.gov; zack.hudgins@leg.wa.gov; sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov; ross.hunter@leg.wa.gov; christopher.hurst@leg.wa.gov; jim.jacks@leg.wa.gov; laurie.jinkins@leg.wa.gov; norm.johnson@leg.wa.gov; ruth.kagi@leg.wa.gov; troy.kelley@leg.wa.gov; phyllis.kenney@leg.wa.gov; steve.kirby@leg.wa.gov; brad.klippert@leg.wa.gov; joel.kretz@leg.wa.gov; dan.kristiansen@leg.wa.gov; connie.ladenburg@leg.wa.gov; marko.liias@leg.wa.gov; kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov; marcie.maxwell@leg.wa.gov; john.mccoy@leg.wa.gov; jim.mccune@leg.wa.gov; mark.miloscia@leg.wa.gov; jim.moeller@leg.wa.gov; jeff.morris@leg.wa.gov; luis.moscoso@leg.wa.gov; terry.nealey@leg.wa.gov; ed.orcutt@leg.wa.gov; timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov; tina.orwall@leg.wa.gov; jason.overstreet@leg.wa.gov; kevin.parker@leg.wa.gov; kirk.pearson@leg.wa.gov; jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov; eric.pettigrew@leg.wa.gov; tim.probst@leg.wa.gov; chris.reykdal@leg.wa.gov; ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov; maryhelen.roberts@leg.wa.gov; jay.rodne@leg.wa.gov; christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov; charles.ross@leg.wa.gov; cindy.ryu@leg.wa.gov; sharontomiko.santos@leg.wa.gov; joe.schmick@leg.wa.gov; larry.seaquist@leg.wa.gov; mike.sells@leg.wa.gov; matt.shea@leg.wa.gov; shelly.short@leg.wa.gov; norma.smith@leg.wa.gov; larry.springer@leg.wa.gov; derek.stanford@leg.wa.gov; pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov; dean.takko@leg.wa.gov; david.taylor@leg.wa.gov; steve.tharinger@leg.wa.gov; dave.upthegrove@leg.wa.gov; kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov; maureen.walsh@leg.wa.gov; judy.warnick@leg.wa.gov; hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov;

SB 5275 – 2011-12
Addressing homeowner foreclosures.
Revised for 1st Substitute: Protecting and assisting homeowners from unnecessary foreclosures.

The above underlined description of this foreclosure bill recently dropped by stealth in the Washington State legislature is an Orwellian lie; it exists to protect the banks of the New World Order-controlled Federal Reserve System, which our treasonous legislature has shown repeatedly that it serves. Amidst all of this bill’s seemingly warm and fuzzy, even lofty pronouncements on mediation and fairness, the following chilling provision stands out; please read it carefully to grasp the magnitude of its treason against the people of Washington State — and of the United States, if this abusive bill is allowed to pass and set a legislative precedent:
“7 (a) That, for residential real estate property, before the notice of trustee’s sale is recorded, transmitted, or served, the trustee shall have proof that the beneficiary (bank) is the owner of the promissory note or obligation secured by the deed of trust. A declaration by the beneficiary (bank) made under penalty of perjury stating that the beneficiary (bank) is the actual holder of the promissory note or other obligation secured by the deed of trust shall be sufficient proof as required under this subsection.”

Go to documents…
History of Bill
as of Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:56 PM

Sponsors:
Senators Kline, Haugen, Kohl-Welles, Hargrove, Rockefeller, Nelson, Ranker, Keiser, Swecker, White, Conway, Hobbs, Chase, Harper, Kilmer, Prentice, Shin, Murray, Fraser, McAuliffe

Companion Bill:
HB 1362
2011 REGULAR SESSION

Jan 19
First reading, referred to Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance. (View Original Bill)

Jan 26
Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Housing & Insurance at 1:30 PM. (Committee Materials)

Feb 16
Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Housing & Insurance at 1:30 PM. (Committee Materials)

Feb 17
FIHI – Majority; 1st substitute bill be substituted, do pass. (View 1st Substitute) (Majority Report)

And refer to Ways & Means.

Feb 24
Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means at 1:30 PM. (Subject to change) (Committee Materials)

Go to history…
Available Documents
Bill Documents
Bill Digests
Bill Reports
Original Bill
Substitute Bill (FIHI 11)

Bill Digest
Substitute Bill Digest

Senate Bill Report (Orig.)
Senate Bill Report

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5275-S.pdf

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WA STATE | In Re: JACOBSON “No Real Party In Interest, No Standing” RELIEF FROM STAY DENIED

WA STATE | In Re: JACOBSON “No Real Party In Interest, No Standing” RELIEF FROM STAY DENIED


Via: BankClassActions

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

FOR PUBLICATION
In re:
PETER A. JACOBSON and
MARIA E. JACOBSON,

Debtors.

No. 08-45120

DECISION ON RELIEF FROM STAY

Excerpts:

Before the court is a motion for relief from the automatic stay of § 362(a)2 to enforce a deed of trust on the Debtors’ residence. As it was neither brought in the name of the real party in interest, nor by anyone with standing, the motion for relief from stay will be DENIED.

<SNIP>

Assuming the exhibits to the motion are authentic and are the same as those intended to have been attached to the declaration, the note is indorsed in blank. Without more, that and possession (rather than mere custody) suggests that Wells Fargo is the holder of the note. RCW 62A.3-20114 and 3-30115. Nothing in the record establishes on whose behalf (if other than its own) Wells Fargo Document Custody possesses the note; that (and verification of current possession and present ability to produce the original, if required) would have to come from Wells Fargo.

Nor does anything in the record establish UBS AG’s authority to enforce the Debtors’ note, for whomever holds it; and thus to foreclose the deed of trust. The declaration states that UBS AG is “servicing agent,” a term with no uniform meaning, and no definition cited. At a minimum, there must be an unambiguous representation or declaration setting forth the servicer’s authority from the present holder of the note to collect on the note and enforce the deed of trust. If questioned, the servicer must be able to produce and authenticate that authority.

UBS AG has not shown that it has standing to bring the motion for relief from stay or authority to act for whomever does.

Continue below…

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OHIO APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS “NO STANDING TO FORECLOSE” U.S. BANK v. DUVALL

OHIO APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS “NO STANDING TO FORECLOSE” U.S. BANK v. DUVALL


Court of Appeals of Ohio
EIGHTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
COUNTY OF CUYAHOGA
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

No. 94714

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSN.
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
vs.
ANTOINE DUVALL, ET AL.
DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES

Civil Appeal from the
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

Case No. CV-638676

BEFORE: Sweeney, J., Gallagher, A.J. and DeGenaro, J.*

RELEASED AND JOURNALIZED: December 30, 2010

{¶ 15} Accordingly, we conclude that plaintiff had no standing to file a
foreclosure action against defendants on October 15, 2007, because, at that time,
Wells Fargo owned the mortgage. Plaintiff failed in its burden of demonstrating
that it was the real party in interest at the time the complaint was filed. Plaintiff’s
sole assignment of error is overruled.

Judgment affirmed.

It is ordered that appellee recover from appellant costs herein taxed.

The court finds there were reasonable grounds for this appeal.

It is ordered that a special mandate be sent to said court to carry this
judgment into execution.

A certified copy of this entry shall constitute the mandate pursuant to
Rule 27 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

JAMES J. SWEENEY, JUDGE

SEAN C. GALLAGHER, A.J., and
*MARY DEGENARO, J., CONCUR
*(Sitting by Assignment: Judge Mary DeGenaro of the Seventh District Court
of Appeals.)

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